These are VA Disability benefits and there is a federal law that protects them from being garnished. The Disability Protection Act of 2010:
VA disability compensation is awarded tax-free to a veteran injured in combat, or in the line of duty. This compensation is federally protected from attachment of any kind under USC, Title 38, §5301
This is NOT retirement money. It is also his only source of income. He also has another child to support. He lost his job in November, 2017 and the child support payment amount was not modified, even though his income went down. The DOR has made numerous mistakes with this entire case since it started
- The order was made in July 2017
- The DOR didn't even open the case until December 2017
- My son was paying the child support payments and the DOR started mailing back the checks.
- They didn't get a copy of the court order, so they didn't create a record of payments and the spouse never got the money.
- In April, 2018 they told everyone (including the judge, lawyers...) that all payments were suspended, and that he didn't owe any money. The judge said that she was going to have the DOR present at the hearing in November, to straighten this all out.
- Now, after going to court in October, they send an order to garnish his VA Disability payments and say that he owes back child support! They didn't even give him the amount owed, or allow him to review it or pay it off. They just automatically started the process to garnish his wages.
Can the amount owed be modified, since he hasn't worked since November 2017 and his income went down? I have researched online and several states have programs to modify past due child support. What programs exist in Massachusetts?
Can the past due amount also be decreased, because she got a job and worked for a while making about $700 per week?
Can the other child be included in the support order, because he has to support him too? If so, then what needs to be done to add the other child to the order?
She also filed criminal charges against him and there is a restraining order in effect. It is alleged domestic violence. What should we do? Once the child support is settled, the divorce should be finalized. There is no money or property to divide. My son is not seeking custody or visitation. He doesn’t want anything to do with her! Although he loves his son, she keeps creating reasons to drag him into court! Whenever she gets upset she gets vindictive! She has also kept her address private. So how can we send her copies of legal documents (I.e. the modification form)? Do we send it to her lawyer?
There is a hearing the second week of November. If we were to hire you, do you have a sliding fee scale and could you appear at this hearing?