Under the Retirement Equity Act of 1984 (Pub. L. No. 98-397, 98 Stat. 1426), a non-employed spouse can receive her share of the pension directly from the pension administrator prior to the employed spouse's retirement if state law permits such an arrangement.
Defendant former husband appealed from a judgment of the District Court which favored plaintiff former wife in a dispute over the division of the former husband's pension plan benefits in the community property partition following their divorce.
Did the trial court err in calculating the amount of pension plan benefits to which the former wife was entitled?
The court held that the district court correctly found that the total requirement proportion to which the former husband was entitled could not increase because it was at the maximum that his plan allowed. The former wife could receive her share of the pension without prejudice to the interests of the former husband, and the former wife was willing to accept a lesser pension than she would have received if she had waited for the former husband to retire. As to reimbursement for mortgage payments, the former husband was ordered to make payments as part of his child support. However, because the mortgage was an investment, he was entitled to a credit for one-half of the amount by which the payment is reduced the debt on the home.
The court affirmed the judgment of the trial court that favored the former wife in her dispute with the former husband over the division of pension benefits in the community property partition following their divorce. The costs of the appeal were assessed against the former husband.