U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case Argued by Gust Rosenfeld Attorney Charles Wirken
The United States Supreme Court to hear Arizona case that could impact veteran’s disability benefits.
(Phoenix, AZ) December 8, 2016 – The United States Supreme Court will hear an Arizona case, Howell v. Howell, which is of national importance because it could impact the finality of a division of military retirement benefits after a veteran and spouse divorce.
In Howell v. Howell, the Court will decide whether a state family law court can order a military veteran to compensate an ex-spouse for a reduction in the spouse’s share of military retirement pay caused by the veteran’s election to receive veteran’s disability benefits.
In 2015, the Arizona Supreme Court decided that an ex-wife of a retired Air Force serviceman, who was awarded one-half of his military retirement benefits when they divorced, had a vested interest in those benefits. She was therefore entitled to payment from her ex-husband when he reduced the amount of his retirement pay by voluntarily applying for and receiving disability benefits after they divorced.
The issue now before the Supreme Court is whether federal law, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act, preempts a state court’s enforcement or modification of a divorce decree to compensate a spouse for the reduction of retirement pay caused by the other spouse.
The case is expected to be argued in March 2017. Sandra Howell is represented by Charles W. Wirken of Gust Rosenfeld, PLC. Wirken is a past president of the State Bar of Arizona and a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
The U.S. Supreme Court case no. is 15—1031.
About Gust Rosenfeld, Gust Rosenfeld is a full-service law firm established in 1921 with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Wickenburg. The firm is known for the quality of its lawyers and legal advice as well as its creative insights and practical solutions in business, public and civil law. Gust Rosenfeld is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy and creditor’s rights, business and corporate law, commercial finance, education law, environmental law, franchises and franchising, health care, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, natural resources, public finance, public law, real estate, taxation, and trusts and estates.