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Question about Divorce Decree


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What does the Divorce Decree mean, It's Reads: the Plaintiff shall be entitled to her marital share in any benefits under Defendant's pension plan, or payments made in said pension plan, through his place of employment if, as and when Defendant's entitled to receive any such benefits, and Plaintiff's interest in said plan benefit shall be calculated as of the date the benefits are to be paid under said plan using the the Bangs Formula?

I should have addressed this with the court, but what does this mean for my ex-wife's portion of my benefits?

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Non-lawyer here, but it might mean the drafting attorney(s) don't understand QDROs. Or it might mean the parties need to go get a DRO drafted. 

Just sayin'.

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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If the divorce decree was entered in Maryland, as Mr. Stevenson has said in his previous posts, the answer is that his ex-wife will be entitled to 50% of the marital share of his retirement annuity, but not his survivor annuity benefits. In Maryland there is a case, Potts v. Potts, decided in 2002 that is very clear and it's holding that if you do not mention specifically survivor annuity benefits in the agreement of the parties, or in the judgment of absolute divorce, the  former spouse/alternate pay does not receive them.  

If ex-wife is planning to submit a QDRO to the court at this late date, you have to make sure that she does not include survivor annuity benefits.  

 THE QUOTED LANGUAGE NOT ONLY DOES NOT REFER TO SURVIVOR ANNUITY BENEFITS, EVEN IF IT DID, IT DOES NOT REFER TO THE PERCENTAGE OF SURVIVOR ANNUITY BENEFITS TO WHICH SHE WOULD BE ENTITLED OR WHICH PARTY WOULD PAY THE COST OF SUCH BENEFITS OR WOULD SUCH COST BE ALLOCATED BETWEEN THEM.

SINCE MR STEVENSON SUGGESTS THAT HIS DIVORCE DATES BACK PRIOR TO 2002 THERE WILL BE A QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THE POTTS CASE IS RETROACTIVE TO HIS CASE OR NOT.  

If Mr Stevenson is serious about protecting his rights he needs to hire an attorney right now. He is not going to find all of the the answers he needs on this blog or be able to represent himself with the little knowledge he has about these matters.

DSG

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Jack Stevenson, fmsinc may have nailed it, but I don't know Maryland law. Generally speaking, you will need to look at applicable state law to determine what the "marital share" and "Bangs Formula" are in order to determine what the alternate payee will receive. Then a DRO will need to be drafted and submitted to the plan administrator to determine whether a QDRO or needs further changes.

Luke Bailey

Senior Counsel

Clark Hill PLC

214-651-4572 (O) | LBailey@clarkhill.com

2600 Dallas Parkway Suite 600

Frisco, TX 75034

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