Special Issues

The following information is provided to give some insight into how specific issues inherent in retirement plans can be handled in divorce. We have compiled information about the most common topics of interest when determining the appropriate way to divide pension benefits in divorce. Of course, we realize that each divorce case is unique, and the topics covered here certainly do not encompass all of the special issues that may arise. Nonetheless, we hope you find this information helpful.

Bankruptcy - Discussion of the effect of bankruptcy on the division of pension benefits in divorce. Provides citations and summaries of federal and state cases regarding this topic.

Early Retirement Subsidy - Provides an explaination of the various types of early retirement subsidies, and the arguments for and against treating such benefits as property subject to division in divorce. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Non-Vested Pension Benefits - Provides a discussion relative to the treatment of non-vested pensions as property subject to division in divorce, and the various ways in which such benefits can be distributed between the parties. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Passive Appreciation - Explains the concept of passive appreciation, and provides a discussion as to whether or not such is considered property subject to division in various states. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic, and information relative to how passive appreciation is veiwed under the property models of each state.

Post-Retirement Cost-of-Living Adjustments - Discussion of how cost-of-living adjustments are valued and distributed in divorce. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Retirement Incentives/Severance Pay - Provides a discussion of the various types of retirement incentives and severance packages, and the arguments for and against treating such as property subject to division in divorce. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Social Security Offset - Explains the mechanics and concepts involved in a social security offset, and the logic behind incorporating such into certain pension valuation and division arenas. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Stock Options - Defines stock options, and provides a guide for valuation and division of such benefits in a divorce. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Survivor Benefits - Provides a basis for understanding the basic issues surrounding survivor benefits and how such relates to division of pensions in divorce. Also discusses the valuation and division of survivor benefits under both the Immediate Offset and Deferred Distribution Methods of division. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

Tax Consequences - Explains the impact of taxes on pension benefits, and how such can be handled when dividing pensions in divorce. Provides citations and summaries of state cases regarding this topic.

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