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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dividing Pension and Retirement Benefits

Under the Family Code of California, community property is divided between the spouses 50/50. Retirement benefits are a form of employment compensation, like earnings. Thus, regardless of when the benefits are vested or matured, for pensions based on time of service as opposed to a point system fn-1, the benefits are community property, to the extent earned during marriage, up to date of separation. For example, if the Participant [spouse earning the pension] earns benefits under the plan for 240 months, and is married prior to separation during 160 of those months, 2/3 of the benefits are community property. The other spouse therefore has a right to 50% of that 2/3 = 1/3 of the pension benefits. When these rights are established through an appropriate order [see below], the other spouse is recognized by the pensions as an Alternate Payee...

To view this article in its entirety, click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/


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