On Thursday, February 18 2021, Trinity Advocates representatives and Carson J. Tucker of Lex Fori PLLC continued their testimony before New Hampshire’s legislative committee on HB 317, a law that would correct the unlawful counting of veterans’ disability compensation as “income” for purposes of domestic relations orders.

This testimony documents our ongoing efforts to ensure that states follow existing federal law, which pursuant to the Supremacy Clause in the United States Constitution forbids the states from making any equitable or legal orders to force veterans to pay their personal entitlement to disability in satisfaction of state civil and domestic relations orders. Title 38, section 5301 of the United States Code jurisdictionally prohibits state courts from entering any legal or equitable order that forces a disabled veteran to dispossess himself or herself of service-connected disability pay. Another federal statute actually prohibits the states from counting disability pay as “income” for purposes of domestic relations orders and property divisions in state court divorce proceedings. Nonetheless, the state courts routinely ignore federal law and force the disabled veteran to pay over the only income he or she has to compensate for the injuries and disabilities suffered and incurred, respectively, while fighting for and defending the nation.

This causes a “snowball” effect, often leading to the financial inability of the veteran to take care of his or her children, thus, leading to the state placing the child with the other parent, or worse, in state foster care, increased poverty, homelessness, addiction, criminal conduct, and all too often suicide. We are fighting every day to ensure that veterans’ benefits will be preserved for and paid to those who sacrificed the best of their lives in the serivce of the country!

Unfortunately, their rights are ignored and cast aside due to an insidious effort on the part of a host of state and private actors to target the vulnerable veterans and their federally guaranteed benefits.

This constitues a part of our ongoing efforts to represent the nation’s disabled veterans and their families!

New Hampshire Legislature Testimony on HB317. Info on the bill:  https://legiscan.com/NH/bill/HB317/2021