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View Full Version : Is a wife entitled to any part of her husband's disability income?




MelodyL
02-14-2009, 11:03 AM
My friend wants a divorce. She found her husband cheating. He is on Social Security Disability. He has several bank books that she is not privy to. He inherited LOTS of money from his mother.

She wants to leave but she has only saved $2000 HE CONTROLS EVERYTHING ELSE. They jointly own a house but he says: "I'll make you jump through hoops before you get anything".

So, presently, they occupy the same house but no one speaks to each other.

Someone told her "you are entitled to HALF of your husband's disability".

I said "Really??? I never knew this".

Now we are talking Social Security Disability, not anything from a union or workman's comp.

I looked this up online and found a message where someone asked the same question (but the husband was on disability from his job), and the judge ruled that "disability income is the same as wages earned", and the wife got a portion of that.

So, if anyone knows if a wife is entitled to any portion of her husand's Social Security Disability check (and exactly how much, IF SHE IS ENTITLED), I'd much appreciate it if you could let me know.

She's in a miserable marriage and the guy is very controlling.

Thanks much

Mel




Jo*mar
02-14-2009, 01:23 PM
I think depending on the state laws , she should be able to get a fair share - unless there is a prenup agreement.:rolleyes:

she needs to interview some divorce lawyers or maybe talk with a family court person first??

If she knows there are some hidden or secret accounts then when she gets a lawyer they should be able to make sure those get disclosed.

shezbut
02-14-2009, 01:30 PM
Hi Melody,

The divorce attorney ought to know. It is very sad that it's come to this though :(

In my personal experience, the SSA money goes to the one disabled. He *may* be required to make some type of personal payments to her, for spousal support, and she ought to get half of the estate. But, I'd recommend that your friend see an attorney to help her get what is hers.

Best wishes!
Shez

MelodyL
02-14-2009, 02:25 PM
Hi Melody,

The divorce attorney ought to know. It is very sad that it's come to this though :(

In my personal experience, the SSA money goes to the one disabled. He *may* be required to make some type of personal payments to her, for spousal support, and she ought to get half of the estate. But, I'd recommend that your friend see an attorney to help her get what is hers.

Best wishes!
Shez

She has an attorney. Last year she had papers drawn up (they'v been doing the fighting, making up etc. etc. for over 30 years.

But now it's bad. There is no communication. And 5 minutes ago, as Alan and I were going out for our Valentine's day meal, we bumped into the husband. I said "Hi, Happy Valentine"s day" and he responded "why?, I don't have a valentine". I said "Are things that bad???" and he said the following to me and my husband:

"That bad?? you will see a FORE SALE sign on my house by next week. I just bought a house in Staten Island" I said "you did what???"

He said "you heard me". I then blurted out "Does your wife know about this new house?" and he said: "I don't have to tell her anything, I have my own money"

You should have seen the look on my husband's face. We don't have this kind of toxic marriage where name calling is thrown back and forth and then you make up one month later.

So we're looking at him and he goes "I can't wait to get out, and besides, SHE WANTS THIS".

I just said "I'm so sorry things have turned out this way, I hope you do well"

WHAT THE HELL WAS I SUPPOSED TO SAY?

And do I tell her what he said:

I don't want to be in the middle of this. I have a feeling he told me this so I could go back and tell her. I have no idea if he's just shooting off his mouth.

I also don't want NOT TO TELL HER, and then she finds out and says to me "why on earth didn't you tell me he bought a house?"

Good Lord, the stuff that some people do to other people.

I told her "you need a plan, and you need a good lawyer".
She knows this.

do I tell her what her husband told me?

Melody

echoes long ago
02-14-2009, 03:16 PM
since you asked, steer clear, there is no worse place to be than in the middle of family disputes especially if it isnt your family.

MelodyL
02-14-2009, 06:46 PM
since you asked, steer clear, there is no worse place to be than in the middle of family disputes especially if it isnt your family.

So what do I do, (if he DID INDEED BUY A HOUSE, CASHED IN HIS BANK BOOKS, AND IS ESSENTIALLY WIPING HER OUT), and he tells her "Well, I told Melody, I assumed she would tell you".

What do I do when she says: "how on earth could you keep this from me?"


See my dilemma.

I already told her I was looking into the Social Security disability thing for her. I told her "I'll ask around on the internet and see what I find".

I was preparing to tell her 'well, it varies from State to State, so ask your lawyer".

I really think she has NO CLUE what this man is doing. She married him at 19 (has been with him since 16), and has been controlled for 30 years.

Tough situation, no?? Her mother and I were sitting with her last night and her mother believes in staying in marriages. I looked at her mom and said "don't you think your daughter deserves to be happy".??

Her mother replied "my own mother and father hated each other, my mother slept on the couch, that's what marriage is all about"

I went home and kissed my husband. (They adore Alan by the way)

Melody

P.S. I just want to be loyal and not have her being bulldozed and not prepared.

Jo*mar
02-14-2009, 11:10 PM
I think if any assets are in his name and his SS# is on documents -all of that has to be disclosed during the divorce process.
But I never had to go thru that so I'm just guessing....

Now if he has assets under a girlfriends or friends name or something like that or offshore accounts that sort of thing then it might be trickier...

echoes long ago
02-15-2009, 01:31 AM
laws vary state to state.......that is what lawyers are for, what is divided and how will be different in new york than in california.

shezbut
02-15-2009, 02:18 AM
Hi Melody,

It is *so hard*, I feel for you! However, I'd definitely recommend that you stay as much out of your friend's divorce as possible. You can be there for her emotionally. Support her. Give her information on where to go, and ask if she'd like you to come with for personal support. But don't tell her what her husband said. He may be talking baloney, just to scare (and/or impress) everyone.

I can understand your fear that it may come back to bite you. Maybe it will, but I highly doubt it. Passing on that kind of info will only hurt her. And then, she may do something to hurt him & the situation worsens still. It is not worth the risk! Especially in this day and age, if you know what I mean.

Best wishes to your friend, and good luck!
Shez

MelodyL
02-15-2009, 07:30 AM
Thank God, I don't have to worry about this any more.

They invited me over for coffee and muffins last night. She came on the porch and I said "I have the information you needed (I was about to tell her that she needs to find a good divorce lawyer and protect herself). She says "come in and we'll talk" Because her mother is all upset over this, I wanted to tell her this privately but she said "oh my mother knows all about it, come inside".

So there I am all nervous because I KNOW WHAT THE HUSBAND SAID TO ME:

And she blurts out "my husband bought a house, I found out today". "He's telling everybody".

I then had my moment. I said "Oh, Alan and I met up with him today and he informed us as well. And I proceeded to tell her (I doctored it up), but SHE KNEW EVERYTHING.

I then said "you know he probably used the money he had stashed away to buy this house, right?" and she said : "Oh, it's where all his single friends live".

I then said "you really need to find a good divorce attorney, he'll protect YOUR rights, and from what I'm hearing, well you better act on SOMETHING here because you have a house and you have to find assets, (she and I have talked this, and she knows what she has to do).

Will she do this? I don't think so. I looked at her and from what I was hearing, she doesn't get any of this.

She said 'I thought I was going to be protected, I married straight out of my father's home, they protected me, I got married at 19 and I thought he would take care of me for the rest of my life".

I said "well, when you speak to your attorney, you'll tell him everything that has happened and you have to give him ALL THE INFO that you know about your husband, for example, what assets that you know he has, what income he gets from Social Security".

She then responded:

"Oh, I don't know what he gets, he has never told me his income in all our 30 years together". I just looked at her and said "I beg your pardon".

She said 'we don't have the same bank accounts". I said "what do you mean, you don't have access to your husband's information, you don't know what he gets from Social Security every month"?

She said "I haven't known his income for 30 years."

I said 'I know you were young when you married him, but after all these years, you never once said "hey, what do you make a week?"

She laughed and said "Every time I did he told me to shut up, that it was none of my business".

He has stopped paying the gas. He told her "your name is on the gas bill, you are responsible" and he wrote her a note saying "my lawyer says that because we own the house together, but because I'VE BEEN THE ONE PAYING THE BILLS ALL THESE YEARS, you don't get any half of the house, THE HOUSE IS MINE!!"

I looked at her and said "Monday morning, please call a GOOD divorce laywer.

"you're going to need one".

She said "but he has to take care of me, we've been married for over 30 years".

I said "From what my friends have been telling me IT'S WHO HAS THE BEST ATTORNEY' "You need to stand up for yourself and protect your right".

Her mother then chimed in "She's not going anywhere, and he's blowing smoke".

Good Lord. I then politely said "I can't get in the middle, you know what to do, and I wish you the best".

Then I changed the subject.

That's it for me. I'm not getting in the middle of a marital spat (especially when the woman KNOWS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about what her husband has been doing for 30 years)

I thank you all for your sage wisdom. I've passed it on and that's it!!

lol

Melody
P.S. I again went home and kissed Alan. He laughed.

echoes long ago
02-15-2009, 01:27 PM
New York is an equitable distribution state as oppossed to a common property state. For example money or property from inheritance to him would remain his but the interest or appreciation in value since the inheritance would be marital property. Seperate bank accounts is a big factor also in how property is distributed in divorce. The fact that he is on disability and has limited future earning capacity will also work in his favor. He seems to have his ducks in a row, she d better smarten up.

MelodyL
02-15-2009, 10:00 PM
New York is an equitable distribution state as oppossed to a common property state. For example money or property from inheritance to him would remain his but the interest or appreciation in value since the inheritance would be marital property. Seperate bank accounts is a big factor also in how property is distributed in divorce. The fact that he is on disability and has limited future earning capacity will also work in his favor. He seems to have his ducks in a row, she d better smarten up.



HE HAS A LOT OF DUCKS IN A ROW HASN'T HE????

I only hope she gets a lawyer as soon as possible.

I am not telling her anything. She doesn't believe it, and she and her mom think the whole thing will go away.

I DON'T THINK SO!!!!

sigh!!!

Melody

shezbut
02-15-2009, 11:32 PM
Ugh! Both very frustrating and sad to see. Nothing you can do about it. Unfortunately, she's got her head in the sand & her mom is complicating matters further by reinforcing that behavior.

Air hugs ;)
Shez

Janke
02-16-2009, 10:41 AM
There are a couple of ways the Social Security Administration pays spousal benefits and divorced spouse benefits. Spousal benefits can be paid if the AGE or child-in-care requirements are met. Divorced spouse benefits can be paid if the marriage lasted more than 10 years and AGE requirements are met and the divorced spouse is currently unmarried (some remarriage exceptions can apply). If the marriage lasted 9 years, 11 months and 29 days or less, then no divorced spouse benefits can be paid. No spousal or divorced spousal benefits can be paid if the wife (in this case) is eligible for more than 50% on her own Social Security record.

You state they have been together for 30 years, so she is probably in her 50's, not yet age 62. Hopefully she was legally married for the entire 30 years and not relying on common-law marriage to protect her rights.

If the marriage lasted over 10 years AND the ex-wife is currently over age 62, she could be potentially entitled to Social Security divorced spouse benefits paid directly to her regardless of her ex-husband's wishes, desires, or divorce decree. If she files her retirement claim at full retirement age (between ages 65 and 68, depending upon her year of birth), she can get 50% of his monthly benefit. If she is under full retirement age and over age 62 when she files the retirement claim, that is considered early retirement and the 50% can be reduced by another 75%.

Example: Ex-husband benefit $1000. 50% $500. Spouse files at age 62 so monthly benefit is 75% of $500 or $375.

This answer does not address whether or not the state will award spousal benefits (alimony) to be paid to the divorced spouse. That is not a Social Security question. The state has guidelines, but the divorce court decides. Social Security spousal benefits are set by law and a divorce court cannot change the law. The divorce court would consider the length of the marriage as one factor in determining alimony. The wage-earner (husband in this example) cannot choose to not elect spousal benefits from Social Security if all requirements are met. When she does reach age 62, the amount she gets from Social Security divorced spouse benefits will not reduce the amount he receives. If he remarries, it doesn't change her entitlement since her marriage lasted over 10 years. The retirement divorced spouse benefits can be paid to her from age 62 until she dies, as long as she meets all other requirements.

Until she is age 62, she will not qualify for payment of Social Security divorced spouse benefits. And then she must apply. Alimony is at the discretion of the divorce court.

MelodyL
02-16-2009, 11:37 AM
There are a couple of ways the Social Security Administration pays spousal benefits and divorced spouse benefits. Spousal benefits can be paid if the AGE or child-in-care requirements are met. Divorced spouse benefits can be paid if the marriage lasted more than 10 years and AGE requirements are met and the divorced spouse is currently unmarried (some remarriage exceptions can apply). If the marriage lasted 9 years, 11 months and 29 days or less, then no divorced spouse benefits can be paid. No spousal or divorced spousal benefits can be paid if the wife (in this case) is eligible for more than 50% on her own Social Security record.

You state they have been together for 30 years, so she is probably in her 50's, not yet age 62. Hopefully she was legally married for the entire 30 years and not relying on common-law marriage to protect her rights.

If the marriage lasted over 10 years AND the ex-wife is currently over age 62, she could be potentially entitled to Social Security divorced spouse benefits paid directly to her regardless of her ex-husband's wishes, desires, or divorce decree. If she files her retirement claim at full retirement age (between ages 65 and 68, depending upon her year of birth), she can get 50% of his monthly benefit. If she is under full retirement age and over age 62 when she files the retirement claim, that is considered early retirement and the 50% can be reduced by another 75%.

Example: Ex-husband benefit $1000. 50% $500. Spouse files at age 62 so monthly benefit is 75% of $500 or $375.

This answer does not address whether or not the state will award spousal benefits (alimony) to be paid to the divorced spouse. That is not a Social Security question. The state has guidelines, but the divorce court decides. Social Security spousal benefits are set by law and a divorce court cannot change the law. The divorce court would consider the length of the marriage as one factor in determining alimony. The wage-earner (husband in this example) cannot choose to not elect spousal benefits from Social Security if all requirements are met. When she does reach age 62, the amount she gets from Social Security divorced spouse benefits will not reduce the amount he receives. If he remarries, it doesn't change her entitlement since her marriage lasted over 10 years. The retirement divorced spouse benefits can be paid to her from age 62 until she dies, as long as she meets all other requirements.

Until she is age 62, she will not qualify for payment of Social Security divorced spouse benefits. And then she must apply. Alimony is at the discretion of the divorce court.


Okay, this is what I got from your posting. She isn't entitled to ANYTHING FROM HIS DISABILITY CHECK. Until she hits the age of 62, then she can file.

She's only 50 and she works full time. Doesn't make a lot and can't support herself until they sell the house. He has told her because he is the one who made the mortgage payments, that she is NOT entitled to half of the house.

I believe this is BS and that if her name is on the deed, then she is entitled to half the house.

Now all this has to be done through lawyers, and such, but the way her mind works right now, she can't face ANY OF THIS.

very sad

We women have to get our priorities straight, know our rights, and not be bulldozed by ANYBODY!!

HERE HERE!!!!

lol

SandyC
02-16-2009, 12:56 PM
Very sad story. I agree for you to stay out of it and just offer emotional support. She will realize she has no choice soon and will have to contact a lawyer. She will not get anything from his disability since that is his only. However, there may be a loop hole that causes him to hold all his assets in an account and pay out spousal support not related to his disability. Her name not being on any documents can mess her up too so she needs a good lawyer.

Dependant on the state law, usually anything aquired after the marriage is owned by both spouses. His inheirantence may be as well if it was awarded after they married. I really don't know because I am not a lawyer, just giving thoughts. I never did understand a marriage like that. I am way too independant to let something like this happen to me. lol

echoes long ago
02-16-2009, 01:09 PM
as far as social security benefits go the money wouldnt come out of his check, she would get 50% of what he is getting in addition, if she met the requirements, so its no skin off of his teeth if she gets money at 62.

as i said before in new york state inheritance would be his, appreciation or interest on what was inherited would be marital property. Every state is different, that is why lawyers are the only ones who win in contested divorces.

i remember a number of years ago Joan Lunden the newscaster had a fit because she had to pay her ex husband alimony. the sad part is not the divorce but the emotional warfare that goes on because one person or the other tries to grab more than what is legally fair or becomes embittered and makes a war of revenge out of it.

MelodyL
02-16-2009, 01:31 PM
as far as social security benefits go the money wouldnt come out of his check, she would get 50% of what he is getting in addition, if she met the requirements, so its no skin off of his teeth if she gets money at 62.

as i said before in new york state inheritance would be his, appreciation or interest on what was inherited would be marital property. Every state is different, that is why lawyers are the only ones who win in contested divorces.

i remember a number of years ago Joan Lunden the newscaster had a fit because she had to pay her ex husband alimony. the sad part is not the divorce but the emotional warfare that goes on because one person or the other tries to grab more than what is legally fair or becomes embittered and makes a war of revenge out of it.

Divorce is hell

especially so when the man calls the woman a slut, a whore and tells the whole neighborhood that she's a pig (believe me, she's not).

He's been doing this FOR YEARS!!

Why people stay in these marriages is beyond my comprehension.

I think it has to do with the fact that these women get married at 19 and have never ever been on their own. Somebody has always taken care of them.

So what happens 25 or 30 years later when the kids are grown, and out, and the man decides to UP AND LEAVE!!!!

The woman is not prepared for this. She's living in her bubble and there she wants to stay.

This bubble is soon to be broken.

sigh!!

Thanks for all the good information.

Melody