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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Division of Tier 2 Benefit in Divorce Action

(Posted February 28, 2008)

Question 654: My husband and I are getting a divorce after 37 years of
marriage. He retired from the railroad on disability after 37 years. I want 100% of his Tier2. His attorney argues I can only have 50%. The judge won't make a ruling without further infomation.

Answer: I am not an attorney nor can I give you legal advice. The division of Tier 2 in a divorce proceeding is strictly a matter between the two parties to resolve or in case of an impasse, the judge.

But I can give you some general information that might help you understand the process. Tier 2 is treated as "property"; it is divided according the laws in your state regarding property of each party. The normal rule is that the total value of all of the property is divided so that each party receives roughly 50% of the total value.

Your lawyer should ask a professional actuary to compute the total value of your husband's Tier 2. Once that is determined, it will be compared to other assets such as your residence, your automobiles, other real property owned, bank accounts, stocks owned, other financial assets that you and your husband own.

Your divorce attorney also might need to consult with an attorney who specializes in dividing retirement benefits in a divorce.


Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.


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