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marital portion of QDRO


Guest trbserv

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Guest trbserv

I divorced in April of 2010. My attorney quit on me after 8 months and $3000 dollars compensation. During this time he moved couches and tables from from one side of the property division paperwork to the other. I ended up drafting my child custody and vistation order. I told my ex from the start that we needed to work together to divide the property, that the attorneys were only taking ouyr money. After the 8 months my ex's attorney told her that she and I needed to come up with a property division. We did just that! We then sent it to my ex's attorney who wasn't happy with it, but, said that if the ex was happy with it she was Ok also. She then submitted it to my attorney who called me and, to make a long story short, quit because he said that "I was getting a much better deal than I would have had we gone to court"! He ended up sending me a letter withdrawing as my counsel and I had to sign off to be able to proceed. My ex's attorney drafted the divorce documents.

I am a member of SERS in PA and in the divorce decree I agreed to 50% of the marital portion of my retirement which was supposed to be for the 22yrs. we were married. I worked for 7 yrs. prior to being married and plan to work another 6 after the divorce. The last 3 yrs. is when amy retirement would significantly increase I contacted my retirement board at the time of the divorce and got an estimate of $900 per month for the ex at the time of my retirement. Now I come to find that the way the ex's attorney wrote up the QDRO, the ex is still increasinbg her share of MY pension clear up untill I retire. I don't believe that's what I signed in the QDRO. I believe she changed the wording after I signed. Any HELP out there?

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A typical "marital portion" provision will take into account the entire accrued retirement benefit because it is recognized that defined benefit plan accruals are are often not linear, and are back loaded. The approach varies by circumstance and local custom, such as whether or not you are in a community property jurisdiction. It is possible that (a) you misunderstood, (b) someone did not explain it well to you or misrepresented the meaning, or © the document you approved was changed without your consent. Relief is unlikely for (a), (b) is difficult to prove and may not matter, and © is difficult to prove unless you have a document record. You are almost certain to be able to change the order if your fomer spouse agrees (relief from (a)). What sort of help are you asking about?

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Guest trbserv
Did you keep a copy of what you signed?

No I didn't keep a copy of what I signed. Stupid ME!!! I recieved a copy of what I signed a few days later. Had iI known then what I know now, I would have signed EVERY page and made a copy right then for myself. I just trusted people!

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Guest trbserv
A typical "marital portion" provision will take into account the entire accrued retirement benefit because it is recognized that defined benefit plan accruals are are often not linear, and are back loaded. The approach varies by circumstance and local custom, such as whether or not you are in a community property jurisdiction. It is possible that (a) you misunderstood, (b) someone did not explain it well to you or misrepresented the meaning, or © the document you approved was changed without your consent. Relief is unlikely for (a), (b) is difficult to prove and may not matter, and © is difficult to prove unless you have a document record. You are almost certain to be able to change the order if your fomer spouse agrees (relief from (a)). What sort of help are you asking about?

I'm certain that my ex knows that she and her attorney screwed me over by a combination of the three explanations above. And my retirement system told me that the only way I can get it changed is if she would agree to it. I guess I was asking if there is a possibility of winning any legal action to get this changed should my ex not agree to change the QDRO? I'm sure if she would have to tell the truth in a court she would say that what made it to QDRO is not what I agreed to. To me this seems as if it's "theft by deception"! Thanks for your responses.

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I divorced in April of 2010. My attorney quit on me after 8 months and $3000 dollars compensation. During this time he moved couches and tables from from one side of the property division paperwork to the other. I ended up drafting my child custody and vistation order. I told my ex from the start that we needed to work together to divide the property, that the attorneys were only taking ouyr money. After the 8 months my ex's attorney told her that she and I needed to come up with a property division. We did just that! We then sent it to my ex's attorney who wasn't happy with it, but, said that if the ex was happy with it she was Ok also. She then submitted it to my attorney who called me and, to make a long story short, quit because he said that "I was getting a much better deal than I would have had we gone to court"! He ended up sending me a letter withdrawing as my counsel and I had to sign off to be able to proceed. My ex's attorney drafted the divorce documents.

I am a member of SERS in PA and in the divorce decree I agreed to 50% of the marital portion of my retirement which was supposed to be for the 22yrs. we were married. I worked for 7 yrs. prior to being married and plan to work another 6 after the divorce. The last 3 yrs. is when amy retirement would significantly increase I contacted my retirement board at the time of the divorce and got an estimate of $900 per month for the ex at the time of my retirement. Now I come to find that the way the ex's attorney wrote up the QDRO, the ex is still increasinbg her share of MY pension clear up untill I retire. I don't believe that's what I signed in the QDRO. I believe she changed the wording after I signed. Any HELP out there?

Q1 what is the amount that your ex will recieve if it is not $900?

You may want to consult an attorney to determine what benefit rights your ex has. Appearently under PA law post seperation benefit increases in pensions that are not due to the indiviual efforts of the employee are considered to be martial property subject to division under a QDRO. For example, benefit increases that are part of the COLA formula of the pension plan are included in the portion of the benefit to be paid to the ex spouse because they are not the result of any effort on the part of the employee. See below link.

http://www.ulmerlaw.com/blog/2012/05/divis...n-divorce.shtml

Q2- what is the reason for the benefit increase in your last 3 years?

mjb

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Guest trbserv
I divorced in April of 2010. My attorney quit on me after 8 months and $3000 dollars compensation. During this time he moved couches and tables from from one side of the property division paperwork to the other. I ended up drafting my child custody and vistation order. I told my ex from the start that we needed to work together to divide the property, that the attorneys were only taking ouyr money. After the 8 months my ex's attorney told her that she and I needed to come up with a property division. We did just that! We then sent it to my ex's attorney who wasn't happy with it, but, said that if the ex was happy with it she was Ok also. She then submitted it to my attorney who called me and, to make a long story short, quit because he said that "I was getting a much better deal than I would have had we gone to court"! He ended up sending me a letter withdrawing as my counsel and I had to sign off to be able to proceed. My ex's attorney drafted the divorce documents.

I am a member of SERS in PA and in the divorce decree I agreed to 50% of the marital portion of my retirement which was supposed to be for the 22yrs. we were married. I worked for 7 yrs. prior to being married and plan to work another 6 after the divorce. The last 3 yrs. is when amy retirement would significantly increase I contacted my retirement board at the time of the divorce and got an estimate of $900 per month for the ex at the time of my retirement. Now I come to find that the way the ex's attorney wrote up the QDRO, the ex is still increasinbg her share of MY pension clear up untill I retire. I don't believe that's what I signed in the QDRO. I believe she changed the wording after I signed. Any HELP out there?

Q1 what is the amount that your ex will recieve if it is not $900?

You may want to consult an attorney to determine what benefit rights your ex has. Appearently under PA law post seperation benefit increases in pensions that are not due to the indiviual efforts of the employee are considered to be martial property subject to division under a QDRO. For example, benefit increases that are part of the COLA formula of the pension plan are included in the portion of the benefit to be paid to the ex spouse because they are not the result of any effort on the part of the employee. See below link.

http://www.ulmerlaw.com/blog/2012/05/divis...n-divorce.shtml

Q2- what is the reason for the benefit increase in your last 3 years?

I recieved a projected retirement payout of $1403 for my ex if I would retire in Dec. of 2015 which will give me 35 yrs. of service.

Also I do understand that she will have a right to any COLA's but that is not the reason for the increase from 900 to 1400 a month. At the time of divorce I agreed to 50% of the marital portion of my retirement at the time of seperation. The way the ex's attorney wrote up the QDRO she put in there based on my total yrs of service, which is not what I had agreed to. SERS retirement is structured so that the last few years of work, say year 32-35, our pension increases significantly! After 35 yrs. the state doesn't contribute any more to the plan and imy monthly benefit doesn't really increase much. Thanks for your response!

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trbserv, you aren't going to like what I say. I don't know what the custom is in PA, but in CA the way your QDRO was written up is exactly what is required under state law. The rationale is that you wouldn't have the ability to get credit for those last few years (when your benefit increases dramatically - as is the case in many defined benefit plans) except for the years of service you earned WHILE YOU WERE MARRIED. Hence, it is considered UNFAIR to split the benefit accrued as of date of divorce/separation. Instead, a much more fair breakdown is to divide the pension you get when you actually retire.

Sorry, but if PA works the same way as CA you won't get very far complaining about this.

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Guest trbserv
trbserv, you aren't going to like what I say. I don't know what the custom is in PA, but in CA the way your QDRO was written up is exactly what is required under state law. The rationale is that you wouldn't have the ability to get credit for those last few years (when your benefit increases dramatically - as is the case in many defined benefit plans) except for the years of service you earned WHILE YOU WERE MARRIED. Hence, it is considered UNFAIR to split the benefit accrued as of date of divorce/separation. Instead, a much more fair breakdown is to divide the pension you get when you actually retire.

Sorry, but if PA works the same way as CA you won't get very far complaining about this.

Your right Mike thats not what I wanted to hear. Thanks for your response. I guess I will have to contact an attorney in PA to find out the exact meaning of the laws pertaining to this matter. it just seamed odd that when I contacted SERS and questioned the increase in the ex's benefit and the decrease in mine, I was told that it was in "the manner in which it was worded" that changed my retirement benefit. To me that didn't sound as if it was a result of PA state laws. My big problem is finding an honest attorney in my area. The last three I've dealt with have all short changed me! Thanks again for you're response.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest dannythompson

This should serve a lesson to all of us, we should always have a copy of the documents we are signing and carefully read it several times in order to avoid such problem. The best thing you can do now is hire a lawyer to help you out in this matter, if it is proven that the lawyer and your wife had altered the documents they they can be sued.

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