Many Missouri divorce cases rule that the retirement of public school teachers in this state is not marital property to be divided in a divorce case. Rather, such retirement constitutes non-marital property of the teaching spouse and can only be set aside in full to that spouse.
The Missouri law which supports these court rulings is section 169.572, the second subsection of which provides–“a court of competent jurisdiction may divide the [retirement] . . . between the parties to any action for dissolution of marriage, to the same extent and in the same manner the court may divide any federal old-age, survivors or disability insurance benefit of the parties pursuant to the federal Social Security Act.” Here you need to know that subsection 1 of section 169.572 bars all Missouri courts from dividing any such Social Security benefits. Bottomline: Missouri public teacher retirement is not to be divided by any divorce court.
There is one small caveat: A Missouri divorce court is supposed to consider the amount of non-marital property [including public teacher retirement] in deciding how to divide the marital property. For example, if one spouse was rich before the marriage, the court may consider that non-marital property and maybe give the “poorer” spouse more of the marital proeprty.
Kurt H. King
Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068
Bankruptcy, Child Custody & Support, Divorce & Modification, Family Law, Personal Injury, Missouri Workers’ Compensation