Are disability checks divisible property in Wisconsin? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Carl R. in Pewaukee, WI

Question Details:

I was a construction worker for several decades before I had an unrelated accident that prevented me from working. I receive disability checks now as my sole income. My wife and I are in the beginning stages of a divorce. Other than the house, we have no real assets to speak of. She feels that she is entitled to half of my disability payments. Are my disability checks subject to marital distribution?

Family Law Attorney Response:

First off, let me say that every case is independent and will be decided upon by its own individual merits. With that being said, it is not uncommon for the courts to award a portion of disability payments to a spouse in property division. It all depends on the specifics of your situation.

In the case of Duffy v. Duffy 132 Wis. 2d 340, 392 N.W.2d 115 (Ct. App. 1986), a husband received disability payments from a trust. The disability payments were not to be considered income until the husband reached the age of 65, when the money would be considered synonymous with a retirement pension. This was the time where the money would be divisible according to the court order. This is just one example as to how a case such as yours could play out.

My advice to you is to contact an experienced family law attorney right away and discuss the specifics of your case.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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