equitable distribution 4

Marital Assets and Liabilities Part 6 of 15 | Divorce Attorney Fort Myers/Naples

Vested and Nonvested Benefits, Rights, & Funds

  • Proper Calculation of Marital Portion of a Retirement Account. Based on the former spouse’s present time in the retirement plan and the present value of the retirement benefit—not the value of the pension at some point in the future when the former spouse actually retires. Fritz v. Fritz, 161 So.3d 425 (Fla. 2d DCA 2014).
    1. To determine the amount of a retirement or pension fund accumulated during the marriage, the trial court “creates] a fraction where the numerator is the amount of time the employee was married while participating in the plan, and the denominator is the total time the employee has in the plan.” Trant v. Trant, 545 So.2d 428, 429 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989)
    2. The trial court then multiplies the plan’s present value by the coverture fraction to calculate the total present value of the retirement fund which accrued during the marriage.
  • (Yrs. of Marriage/yrs. of Plan Participation) x Present Value of Plan = Marital Portion to be ED
    • (6 yrs. married/10 yrs. of plan)= .6 x $50,000= $30,000 marital portion/2= $15,000 per spouse
  • Stock Options. As a general rule, when options are given as deferred compensation for past services, the options are considered marital property, but when given for present services or future services, they are considered non-marital property. Seither v. Seither, 779 So.2d 331 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999).
  • Stock Appreciation Rights (“SARS”). SARs “have no marital value” because any appreciation would be based on the company’s future performance. Hollister v. Hollister, 965 So.2d 341 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007).
  • Disability Benefits. Disability benefits that compensated the husband for future lost income were separate property not subject to equitable distribution. Gibbons v. Gibbons, 10 So.3d 127 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009).

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