James Noel Higdon, CAPTAIN, USN Retired
Fair winds and following seas, Mate
It is with a very sad heart that I share the peaceful passing of James N. Higdon on March 4, 2018, from the flu and pneumonia. He was a lawyer extraordinaire, a national expert on military divorce; a great patriot and veteran (retired Navy captain), and a great family man, active in his community. I would call him when veterans called me about their military divorces. Always willing to help military divorce couples, I referred them to Jim and his extremely competent and ethical team.
Jim wasn’t like most lawyers; he was well respected in the legal community, heading up the Military and Veterans Section of the Texas State Bar Association. He was an advisor to the American Bar Association on military retirement matters, taught classes to lawyers on military divorce matters, and served as a consultant on military divorce cases all over the country. Jim wrote the foreword to my second book, Divorce and the Military II, and he and I were collaborating on a third book for military divorce couples.
Jim’s funeral will be Friday, March 9, at 11 a.m. at the Woodland Baptist Church at 15315 Huebner Road, San Antonio, TX. There will be a reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, people may make a donation to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. 1033 Long Prairie Road, Suite 5, Flower Mound TX 75022 Phone: 214-888-0220 Fax: 214-888-0230 (http://www.knightstemplar.org/ktef/wtd.html).
Jim is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons Travis and Andrew and their families, his grandchildren and other relatives. He will be terribly missed. But his legacy will live on for his support to veterans and their families.
Marsha L. Thole
The Washington Ramble
ARA Quarterly Newsletter - October 2017, ARA Vol 33 Issue 4 - Get it here in PDF
Your voice on Capitol Hill,
(Excerpt from "Patriotism" 2017, used by permission of the author)
Patriotism. That is the focus of this month's Ramble.
Walking the halls of Congress for years I'm always overwhelmed by those who have served honorably...took their oath of office...taken it seriously and fulfilled their Congressional mission. Walk down Statuary Hall in the Capitol. You are surrounded by Patriots. Sadly, many today have not served their country and clearly cannot say they are Patriots in the full sense of the word.
What is a Patriot. Take a trip to your nearest VA hospital...a military cemetery, a military base. Our country has been fortunate to have the best and the brightest supporting our National Security. The current debacle with the National Football League (NFL) has disappointed many Americans. The players have "slapped their country in the face!" They were probably never taught Patriotism while attending formal school...liberal educators took the subject lightly and they themselves never served in the military...thus the arrogance and total misunderstanding by the players. It appears our country is divided...it is not...only by the reflection of confused football players by not respecting the National Anthem or US Flag.
Attention all members who have or have had any of their VA disability compensation included in assignment to pay ALIMONY or SPOUSAL and/or CHILD SUPPORT
Attention all members who have or have had any of their VA disability compensation included in assignment to pay ALIMONY or SPOUSAL and/or CHILD SUPPORT, be it from a rendered DIVORCE DECREE or CHILD SUPPORT ORDER: There now exists a Microsoft Word LAWSUIT Template which allows you to sue your state or commonwealth actors & principles involved in that illegal assignment. This lawsuit allows you to seek redress from the system when you properly assert your 38 USC Section 5301(a) rights to "VOID from its INCEPTION" regarding your illegal decree and/or order. Should you be granted a void decree or order, you will also then be entitled to total RECOUPMENT with interest of any and all VA compensation stolen from you since day one! You will also then have a claim for additional damages to settle in your U.S. District Court for federal and constitutional civil rights violations. THERE ARE NO TIME LIMITATIONS FOR FILING THIS SUIT. To receive more information, send your contact information after you click and open
Uniformed Services Retiree Population with USFSPA Monthly Deductions
Data provided by DFAS Cleveland, OH and USCG PPC, Topeka, KS
Get the PDF File Here
Statistical Data Concerning the Impact of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act on Retired Members of the Uniformed ServicesFor: U.S.Army; U.S. Navy; U.S. Marine Corps; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Coast Guard; Comm Corps of NOAA; Comm Corps of PHS
Get the PDF file here
Supreme Court rules in veteran's favor in closely watched divorce settlement case
By: Shawn Snow, May 17, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday, in the case of Howell v. Howell, that a state court cannot offset the loss of a divorced spouse’s portion of a veteran's retirement benefits when that veteran waives retirement pay in favor of disability pay. The issue has been hotly debated for years.
Hot off the Presses
Thanks to DFAS and the Freedom of Information Act, we are able to share the current toll USFSPA provisions are taking on uniformed services personnel, and by extension, the very national security that protects us from our foreign and domestic enemies.
The 97th Congress passed USFSPA provisions to President Reagan and he signed it into law. Iowa Senator Harold Jepson apologized to me, in a Memo, for the harm his legislation (it was his version of the Bill that cleared the joint conference) has done to career uniformed services personnel and by extension to the national defense team we all rely on to protect us from our foreign and domestic enemies.
State legislators dodge the USFSPA reform issue, by falsely claiming it is a Congressional mandate. Interestingly, six of our great States protect their government employee pensioners from the harm USFSPA provisions lay on our Federal Uniformed Service pesonnel. Ironically, other states want us to believe they too cannot similarly protect those who make their every existence possible.......Learn More->
Divorce and the Military II
**YOU MUST READ THIS TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES BOOK**
Discover how unpublicized Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act provisions target career Military, PHS and NOAA personnel! .......................ORDER THE BOOK..............................
(1) What You Don't Know CanHurt You
(2) What USFSPA Is and What It Is Not
(3) Where Were You in '82? (Things the Recruiter Didn't Tell You)
(4) Controversy Aplenty
(5) Is it lncome or ls it Property?
(6) Women in Uniform
(7) The Reserves and the Guard
(8) All Divorces Are Not Alike: What you need to consider
(9) Federal Benefits: Here Today and May be Gone Tomorrow
(10) Financial Management Before and After Your Divorce
(11) Survivor Benefit Plan
(12) 51 Flavors and Counting
(13) The Divorce Process
(14) Selecting an Attorney
(16) Legislative Environment:
(17) About the ARA
(18) Restoring Fairness and Equality
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) was implemented ostensibly to protect deserving uniformed service member former spouses. Ironically, it created a class of service member casualties, larger than those it was designed to protect.
The American Retirees Association (ARA) was founded in 1984 specifically to address the numerous inequities found in Title 10 USC 1408 et seq (USFSPA). ARA is a 501(c)(19) Veterans Support Organization (VSO), chartered in California, as Tax Exempt Corporation 1551226, with Federal Tax Exemption ID 33-0246743. Our field membership is comprised of all male and female members of the Uniformed Services, residing across the United States and around the world.
USFSPA 1099-R Fraud Alert
There is no easy method for a concerned State Department of Revenue to determine which Form 1099-R is from a military retiree or a former dependent military spouse. In addition, there is no easy way to determine whether a Form 1099-R is reporting tax exempt military retired pay or non-exempt payments, pursuant to a divorce decree, for which Title 10 of the United States Code,
Section §1408(c)(2), applies. If you can identify a resident you believe has committed or is committing this USFSPA related fraud, consider reporting their contact information to their Department of Revenue, Audit Bureau, (anonymously, if you prefer). We are confidant their case-by-case basis investigation results are confidential.