Society

Veteran Arrested For Refusing To Hand Over Half His Disability Money To Ex-Wife

| by Lisa Fogarty

A Marine veteran would rather be locked up behind bars than give half of his Veterans Affairs disability check to this ex-wife.

Terry Lynn, who is from Charlotte County, Florida, says he is in the process of getting a divorce and that his ex is seeking half of the $3,000 he receives each month, reports ABC 7. The Marine, who is on full disability from injuries sustained while serving in the Gulf War, says he met his ex after his time in the military and that she should not be entitled to a single cent of this money.

“It’s how I pay my bills,” Lynn said. “There is no way I can afford to pay that amount and still survive.”

Even though this money is exempt from alimony, according to federal law, Lynn’s wife may still be entitled to half, as determined by state law. U.S. Title 38 dictates that VA benefits are exempt from taxation and claims of creditors, but there is no language in place that states it is exempt from alimony.

“Florida law does allow for alimony,” Lynn said. “What they are doing is putting state law over federal law. To get around it they don’t say you have to give your VA check. They say you have to pay alimony and they don’t care where you get it from.”

Lynn says he has tried to be fair and purchased a house for his ex, in addition to providing in other ways, but that taking his VA check is going too far. After refusing to pay, he was arrested in a Charlotte County courtroom on Wednesday. He claims he is taking a stand for all veterans.

Lynn’s ex-wife, Kathy, defended herself after she was slammed by several people on Facebook and other social media outlets. She says it wasn’t her choice to end their marriage, and that she is sick and doesn’t have money. She also argued that her decision to marry a disabled veteran shouldn’t result in her being left penniless because their union didn’t last.

“I’ve been married to the guy for 17 years,” Kathy Lynn told ABC 7. “I’ve been to every doctor’s appointment with him. I have been by his side when we had nothing. He lived out of his truck when I met him. A judge was the one who made the decision. I didn’t make that decision.”

Source: ABC 7

Photo Credit: ABC 7, Flickr