– from Douglas K. in Muskego, WI

Question Details:

After being married, my wife and I used my military disability benefits to purchase land. We then filed for a divorce, and during the division of property, my judge awarded an extra $15,000 to my wife from our sale of property. This would be due to the judge including my military disability benefits. Is this allowed or are disability benefits not as asset?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Thank you to your question. You are right in terms of military benefits should not be divided by the courts, however there are exceptions.

In the case of Pfeil v. Pfeil 115 Wis.2d 502, 341 N.W.2d 699 (Ct. App. 1983), it was decided that in general military disability benefits are not an asset that should be divided by the parties. However if a person purchases land entirely with disability benefits payments, their exemption is lost when investing in the real estate purchase. Once that exemption is lost, the court has every right to consider the asset in a property division.

I hope this answers your question, if not give us a call and we can discuss more.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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