Clever Way Divorce Attorneys Steal Your Tax Dollars


    NYT2008110415304530CAre you, or someone you know, a non-retired severely injured combat disabled veteran with less than 20 years of service, (male or female), who has, or is, going through a divorce and only have your VA disability compensation to survive on.

    Do your disabilities and limited fixed financial situation keep you from getting a job, or hiring an attorney?

    Has a judge ordered you to pay your ex-spouse half of your VA disability compensation in alimony from these federal funds?

    Then to add insult to injury, has the Judge ordered you to pay your ex-spouse’s legal fees on top of that?

    The veteran is unable to work, can’t afford to retain an attorney, and are therefore stuck dealing with what the judge (also an attorney) determines is “fair”. Well, fair, in the minds of most judges favors the former spouse, and because of that, and the fact that you don’t have an attorney, you lose! Welcome home, Bro…

    There are lots of combat disabled veterans who return home just to find their spouse has decided to part ways and has moved on with a new partner, or their spouse cannot deal with the disfiguring scars and/or amputations their spouse has incurred. They claim that their husband/wife is not the same person they married and that they do not want to spend the rest of their life pushing a wheelchair around or nursing a severely injured person.

    So they file for divorce based on their spouse’s disabilities, and walk away from the marriage with half or more of the veteran’s disability compensation as alimony. For some veterans this is enough for them to commit suicide, while others take on the fight to correct this problem. They will soon find out that Justice, Truth and Fairness are not used in divorce court and if they don’t take the time to find out their rights they will be stuck paying their ex-spouse a lot more than what is allowed by law.disabled vet

    After such a divorce, ex-spouses have been known to find a new lover, but avoid legally getting married in order to continue receiving alimony from their former spouse. How did this happen? It happened because a network of greedy family law attorneys (one was even called an ambulance chaser when testifying before a congressional committee) figured out how to manipulate, circumvent, and redefine the federal laws designed to protect veterans’ disability compensation from just such abuse.

    In the words of one such divorce attorney; Military service is no more dangerous than being an animal trainer, or construction worker. A lost limb is a lost limb regardless of how you lost it.

    Most veterans do not take the time to educate themselves, finding out how USC Title 38 of the US Code protects their VA disability compensation from attachment, levy, and/or garnishment before or after receipt by the “beneficiary”. Section 511 of USC Title 38 states that the Secretary of the VA is the only person that Congress specified has the absolute authority to garnish those monies.

    So off to court they go, trusting the judge, in the so-called “court of justice” will do what is right, only to have that judge strip them of their lawfully protected money and award the ex-spouse half of their VA disability compensation as alimony and then order the disabled veteran to use the remainder of their disability compensation to pay their ex-spouse’s legal fees as well.

    When you question the judge about what has been done, you are told that it is all legal and if you don’t like the ruling you can hire an attorney and file an appeal. Hard to believe? Nope, it happens every day in courtrooms across the country thousands of times a week, resulting in BILLIONS of American tax dollars designated for the care of our veterans to end up in the pockets of third parties, who are no longer members of the veteran’s family and attorneys who are not a party in the divorce.


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    There appears to be a number of federal law violations in the example I just laid out for you, but we will focus on just one of the illegal practices taking place when a disabled veteran goes through a divorce.

    Now, I’m not an attorney, and I cannot give out legal advice or represent anyone in court, but, I’ve spent the past decade researching this issue and I know the difference between right and wrong. I speak English fluently and understand the definitions of the majority of words in the English language. I am a combat wounded disabled veteran and my father served 8 years in the Navy and during the 1960’s worked for the VA for a number of years. Dad tipped me off to many of the ways the VA was allowing courts to violate the law. The education he gave me probably taught me more about the VA than most of the talking heads who call themselves ‘Experts’ in military divorces will ever know. I will use one of these experts to prove my point.

    A prominent attorney from Raleigh, North Carolina claims that the Federal Law USC, Title 38, section 5301 only pertains to “Creditors” and no one else. To some extent this attorney is correct, in that the law does speak about creditors, but it also sets limitations on the circumstances where even the veteran is prohibited from using their own VA compensation monies. Congress was specific in their wording of this Code. They wrote:

    “Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law, and such payments made to, or on account of, a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy, or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary.” [Note: Words in bold are not bold in the writing of the law.]

    In addition to USC Title 38, section 511 states;

    Decision of the Secretary; Finality; (a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), the decision of the Secretary as to any such question shall be final and conclusive and may not be reviewed by any other official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise. [Note: Once again words in bold are not bold in the writing of the law.]

    dollar iceNow anyone with even basic knowledge of law knows that the use of the word “law” in Federal law pertains to only Federal laws, not state law, which by the way are not even laws as for anything to become a “law” it must be passed by the Senate, the House, then signed by the President of the United States. State “Law” are actually statutes, but lawyers like to mix them up intentionally, but that will be addressed in another column. Title 38 USC 5301 specifically dictates when a veteran can and cannot use his own compensation money.

    In most cases the requirement is that the veteran has entered into an agreement voluntarily, that the purpose for which the money is being used does not fall under one of the prohibited purposes listed in 5301, and the veteran was not forced into the agreement, or contract. A divorce agreement is a form legal contract when it comes to the use of a disabled veteran’s disability compensation.

    Congress specifically dictated that the Secretary of the VA has sole authority as to how the veteran’s may be garnished. As the court is not specified, as being lawfully authorized to attach, garnish, or levy the veterans VA disability compensation, they are violating the law when they do so. The attorney we spoke of above said that the law only speaks to creditors, so let’s look at what the law considers a creditor. Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition gives lots of definitions of creditors, but the one that most closely applies to our situation says a creditor is “one who gives credit for money or goods.” Let’s look at the entire wording of the applicable section of law again. USC, Title 38, Section 5301 is titled Nonassignability and exempt status of benefits, and it exactly says:

    “(a)(1) Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law, and such payments made to, or on account of, a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy, or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary.”

    There are no exceptions made for the payment of attorney fees anywhere in USC, Title 38, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Rose v. Rose, the Book of Mormon, or the Holy Bible. In my opinion, every time an attorney attaches their client’s legal fees to a disabled veteran’s disability compensation they are guilty of a Federal crime, because the monies awarded as part of VA disability compensation are Federal monies, monies allocated by Congress from tax monies collected by the IRS from the taxes we pay. Stealing monies from the American tax payers, money intended to care for our disabled veterans is not a privilege granted to courts, attorneys or any other creditor.

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    The legal fee amounts these divorce attorneys are attaching to the disabled veterans vary from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars! Unlike a normal debt, which you can file bankruptcy on, or just ignore the debt and get a bad mark on your credit report. This is a court ordered collection, which if you refuse to pay will land you in jail until you do pay it. So much for the abolishment of debtor’s prisons.

    In my 13 year investigation I have uncovered several groups of attorneys in different states who communicate over the internet and who conspire to create state laws giving the court the legal right to ignore the federal law and create legislation which defines veterans’ disability compensation as “Income”, and therefore a divisible marital asset.

    If a disabled veteran chooses to retain an attorney. But, to force a disabled veteran to use their VA disability compensation to pay the legal fees of another person is not only illegal, it is an insult to the brave men and women who volunteer to risk their lives to protect our entire country and everyone in it. And the Judges who condone this practice need to be kicked off the bench for threatening our national security by causing great hardship on our former military personnel and negatively affecting the morale and retention of our active duty personnel.

    We aren’t talking about small change here — we are talking about billions of federal tax dollars. I have personally witnessed this illegal practice many times in courtrooms across the country. I personally feel every veteran who has been forced to pay these legal fees are entitled to their money back with interest. I suggest you contact the FBI or DOJ and file a complaint with them and at the same time search the internet, find organizations that fight for protections under 5301, and become active in protecting those benefits.

    For some unknown reason military veterans today are treated like trash during a divorce, and I am convinced that divorce and the issues associated with divorce are directly related to the extremely high rate of veteran homelessness and suicide. PTSD is not only related to combat experiences, but also how the veterans are treated when they get home — having to wait months, and sometimes years, to get into the VA medical system — waiting years to get their claim approved, on top of being unable to find employment. Some congressional representatives have not helped this issue.

    A well known representative claims all veterans suffering from PTSD are mentally ill. Does that philosophy pertain to rape victims as well? How can that person say they are representing her constituents’ beliefs?


    Veterans Can be Labeled Potential Terrorists

    Our veterans need familial love and caring - we must not let them down
    Our veterans need familial love and caring – we must not let them down

    One particular study last year went as far as classifying former military personnel as being the most likely group of Americans to become homegrown terrorist. The facts do not support this theory.

    Do the residents of California really despite our veterans that much, or is it time for that representative to hit the road? If you are from California, you need to decide if you want that individual speaking for you!

    One thing we can show is that combat wounded, and it does not have to be physical wounds, as PTSD is a physiological issue, and all of this combined causes the majority of the divorces relating to veterans. Some spouses are not able to deal with the nightmares unpredictable behavior and mood swings associated with PTSD, let alone deal with the disfiguring scars, lost limbs, traumatic brain injury, and/or PTSD.

    The scam is up! Any disabled veteran who has had this happen to them needs to comment below, and if you are interested in ending this injustice, email the author so you can be added to the list of victims that the VA is thinking about helping get their cases readdressed by the courts. It’s time to go after the low life divorce attorneys who make their living putting our brothers and sisters on the streets. We can stop many of the suicides and much of the homelessness by placing the blame on the attorneys and judges, the vultures that have stripped our veterans down to the bone. It’s up to you.

    This is not just a veteran’s issue; it’s an American taxpayer issue. Do you really support our troops?? Do you really care how your tax dollars are spent?? Does it bother you that our combat disabled are suffering great hardship because of this problem?? PROVE IT!!

    Get Involved! Get Your Hands Dirty! Get your money back from these reptiles who feed off the carcasses of the broken marriages of our disabled military personnel and their families. You don’t have to be an attorney to understand when you are getting robbed.

    Now, I’m certain there will be those who will accuse me of practicing law without a license and giving legal advice. I suggest that I am reporting a crime based on the results of my 13 year investigation. Everything in this article is based on my educated opinion and supported by facts, and I have traced the protection of disability compensation back to the Revolutionary War.

    VT would like to hear from you on this issue. Has a situation like this happened to you?? Scroll down to the comment section.

    I would like to thank Vietnam veteran Mr. Paul Dionne for his contributions to the development of this article.

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    Although Jere Beery only served 4 years in the U.S. Navy, he has an impressive military history. Twenty seven months of that service was in the combat waters of Vietnam. His first duty station in 1965 was aboard the USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY, (LST-1167) as a Seaman. The WESTCHESTER COUNTY was involved in many operations within the combat waters of South Vietnam and received many awards and accolades for her service. The WESTCHESTER COUNTY was the recipient of 15 Battle Stars for her 19 years of service. LST-1167 was one of only 3 ships of her type to earn 15 Battle Stars (out of over 1200 LSTs built since before WWII). Beery's second duty station in 1967 was with the legendary PBRs of the Brown Water Navy. As a volunteer, Beery saw combat on a fairly routine basis with this elite group and their high speed patrol craft. On March 1, 1968, Beery's patrol was ambushed by a sizeable force of NVA and Viet Cong. The boat Beery was aboard took two direct RPG hits to her starboard side badly wounding four members of the boat's crew. Seaman Beery was the most severely wounded and not expected to live. The first RPG had exploded right where Beery was standing as he manned his 50 caliber machine gun. To this day, Beery contributes his survival to the live-saving actions of his patrol officer, LT. RICHARD GODBEHERE and his other crew members. Beery spent the next year and a half hospitalized and recovering from his wounds. THE GODBEHERE PATROL On November 1, 1968, while Jere Beery was recuperating at NAS Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY was attacked on the My Tho river. At 03:22 in the morning two very large mines were detonated on the ship's starboard side. 25 men were killed, 17 were ship's crew. Several of the men killed that morning were friends and former shipmates of Beery's. This incident has gone down in history as the greatest loss of life by the U.S. Navy in a single attack during the entire Vietnam War. USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY In mid-1969, Jere Beery was medically retired from the Navy. His service record reflects 1 Bronze Star, 3 Purple Hearts, and 5 military campaigns in Vietnam. Beery was also rated totally and permanently disabled by the Veterans Administration. Over the years since Vietnam, Jere Beery has attempted to do some things many thought impossible for someone with physical injuries such as his. During the early 80s, Jere Beery, as a member of the Screen Actors Guild pursued a brief career in the motion picture business as an actor. Beery landed a few small parts in a number of movies and television programs. On several occasions, to the amazement of many, Beery even executed his own stunts. In the 1986, Jere Beery gave up his career in the movies to crusade for his fellow veterans. Since that time, veteran's rights advocate Jere Beery has been a noted driving force in the Veteran's Rights Movement and effort to improve services for our veterans. Beery's efforts have been extremely well documents and many articles have been written about his quest. A few of these articles can be found on this page. You can also type the words "Jere Beery" into any search engine to find out more about Beery's efforts. Jere Beery's multifaceted story is truly an amazing one. From his survival in Vietnam, to risking additional injury executing stunts in the motion pictures, to fighting to protect the benefits earned by our troops, Jere Beery has forged his own trail and continues to amaze and baffle many. - Place and Date of Birth: Orlando, Fl - 03/13/48 - Raised: St. Augustine, Fl - Place & Date Enlistment: Jacksonville, Fl - 05/20/65 - Branch of service: U.S. Navy - Highest Rate/Rank: E4/PO3/Signalman Third Class - Duty Stations: USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY, LST-1167 and TF116, River Patrol Force, River Section - 511, (PBRs), Binh Thuy, RSVN - Date of Discharge: 5/14/69 - Type of Discharge: Honorable, Medically Retired - VA Rating: 100% Totally and Permanently Disabled Military Awards and Medals: - 1 Bronze Star - w/combat “V” Citation - 3 Purple Hearts - (1/5/68, 2/14/68, 3/1/68) - Vietnam Service Medal - w/1 Silver Star - (5 military campaigns in-country, RSVN) - Republic Of Vietnam Campaign Medal - w/1960 device - Combat Action Ribbon - Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon - Presidential Unit Commendation Ribbon - National Defense Medal - Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation - Gallantry Cross Medal Color, w/Palm - Republic Of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation - Civil Actions Medal, First Class Color, w/Palm Military Training: - River Patrol Craft Training, (PBR), Mare Island, CA - Special Weapons Training, Mare Island, CA - J.E.S.T. (Jungle Environmental Survivor Training) – Cubi Point, Philippines - S.E.R.E. (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape Training) – Whidbey Island, Washington State - Vietnamese Language – Mare Island, CA.

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