My talented Burns & Levinson colleague, Ron Barriere, has worked on several military divorce cases. In this week’s post, Ron explains important considerations regarding pensions and retirement accounts for military spouses facing divorce.
This past summer, while most Massachusetts divorce lawyers (myself included) were busily studying the new Alimony Reform Act, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued an important decision concerning the treatment of military pensions in Massachusetts divorce cases. Casey v. Casey considered whether a military defined benefit plan could be properly included in the income of the former service member-spouse for purposes of calculating support or whether the pension itself was an asset subject to division.
By way of background, military retirement vehicles – like their civilian counterparts – commonly come in one of two varieties:
1) Defined Contribution Plans. These plans are characterized by fixed contributions paid by employers and/or employees, and contributions are then invested. Any returns on the investments are credited to the employee’s account. Common civilian defined contribution plans include Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) plans, but the most common military defined contribution plan is the Thrift Savings Plan, or TSP. The TSP – … Keep reading
One of my very articulate colleagues, Ron Barriere, has done a lot of work with military divorces and has been drafted during my involvement in a very difficult trial to provide a post detailing them.
The concurrent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the combat deployment of millions of American men and women. The bravery and sacrifice of our troops is self-evident and is justifiably celebrated. However, an unfortunate byproduct of their service is the strain on their home life, and a corresponding increase in family law litigation involving service members. In the past decade, the number of service members involved in divorce actions increased steadily before leveling in 2010. These statistics reflect only a fraction of a much larger problem: they do not include the vast number of modification and contempt actions involving previously divorced service members relating to support, visitation, and child custody.… Keep reading
Almost everyone would love to know before marrying, whether or not they will end up divorced, if only to avoid the need for a prenup. Anneli Ruffus has written a very interesting compilation of research pieces for The Daily Beast on “15 Ways to Predict Divorce.”
I have always believed that parents of children with disabilities have a much higher divorce rate and now there seems to be research that indicates that parents of twins are also at risk.
In addition to all the other life altering issues they face, military families have a much higher risk of divorce as well.
And finally, here is a tacky piece on the Getty divorce. The reason all of the personal financial and spending material was in the court record available for the writer to find, was that Mrs. Getty apparently was trying to set out not only his bad behavior but their lifestyle, in order to obtain the support she wanted.
Nancy… Keep reading