The Law Office of Kurt H King

December 1, 2020

Amend Your Divorce Judgment for Bump Up in Missouri PERS/PEERS Retirement Payments

Recently, two elderly former educators who taught in Missouri public schools for years filed a joint motion to amend their divorce judgment to provide that neither of them would continue to have any survivorship rights whatsoever in the PERS/PEERS retirement of the other. By the Court issuing an amended judgment of dissolution of their marriage, both the former husband and former wife received a “bump up” in their monthly retirement payments from PERS/PEERS.

This is because effective August 28, 2019, Missouri lawmakers added to subsection 3 of sections 169.141 and 169.715, RSMo, to enable persons whose marriage was dissolved before September 1, 2017, to receive increased monthly retirement benefits:

            “3.  Any person receiving a retirement allowance under sections 169.010 to 169.140 who elected a reduced retirement allowance under subsection 3 of section 169.070 with his or her spouse as the nominated beneficiary may have the retirement allowance increased to the amount the retired member would be receiving had the retired member elected option 1 if:

            *                                              *                                              *

(2)  The marriage of the retired person and the nominated spouse was dissolved before September 1, 2017, and:

                        *                                              *                                              *

            (b) The dissolution decree does not  provide for sole retention by the retired person

            of all rights in the retirement allowance and the parties obtain an amended or modified

            dissolution decree after September 1, 2017, which provides for sole retention by the

            retired person of all rights in the retirement allowance . . . .”

Other folks who want to increase their monthly PERS/PEERS payments may also want to file a motion to amend the divorce judgment.

Kurt H. King, Law Office of Kurt H. King

816.781.6000; 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Missouri 64068; kurthking@swbell.net

Family Law, Business and Injury Litigation, Employment Discrimination/Retaliation; General Matters

January 26, 2012

7 Things to Remember in Missouri Divorce Cases

7 legal tibits that make a difference–

1.  Social Security benefits, including disability, shall not be divided in a Missouri Dissolution of Marriage case.  (section 169.572 of Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri)

2.  Likewise, Missouri Public Teachers Retirement benefits, which largely take the place of Social Security benefits for such teachers, shall not be divided in a Missouri divorce case.  (section 169.572 also)

3.  For much the same reason, Tier I of railroad retirement basically pays railroad workers what they would have received in Social Security benefits and therefore is not to be divided by the court in a divorce case.  Federal law, 45 U.S.C. section 231m, exempts Tier I benefits from the property a divorce court may divide.   The Railroad Retirement Board will not honor a court dissolution of marriage judgment/order that divides Tier I.  Only Tier II may be divided.

4.  Military disability benefits  are non-marital property of the soldier that the court shall not divide in a divorce case.  But ordinary military retirement benefits are marital property which may be dividedImportant:  the military spouse may elect to receive military disability benefits and if so the ordinary military retirement benefits are reduced dollar for dollar.  A legitimate reason for taking disability instead of ordinary retirement is that the disability benefits are not taxed as income to the receiving spouse.  Settlement agreements should prohibit the military spouse from electing to take disability benefits instead of ordinary retirement, or to indemnify the other spouse if the military spouse so elects and consequently reduces the amount of ordinary military retirement available to the other spouse.  (Morgan v. Morgan, 249 S.W.3d 226, 230 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 2008)

5.  In a Missouri divorce case, court cannot validly order a spouse to maintain a life insurance policy(s) to support the chilren in the event of the death of the spouse charged with paying child support, UNLESS the parties so agree [most likely in a settlement agreement in the divorce proceeding].  (Weiss v. Weiss, 954 S.W.2d 456, 459 (Mo. Ct. App. S.D. 19970); Wheeler v. McDonnell Douglas Corp., 999 S.W.2d 279, 287-88 (Mo. Ct. App. E.D. 1999))  But court may order a spouse to maintain life insurance for other reasons such as to secure the payment of maintenance (formerly called alimony).

6.  Social Security paid for a child due to the non-custodial parent’s  disability may be credited against his/her child support obligation.  (Wallace v. Wallace, 269 S.W. 3d 479 (Mo. Ct. App. E.D. 2008); Weaks v. Weaks, 821 S.W.2d 503, 506 (Mo. 1991))

7.  Social Security paid for a child due to the custodial parent’s disability shall  not be a direct dollar for dollar credit against the non-custodial parent’s child support obligation.  (Gerlach v. Adair, 211 S.W.3d 663, 667 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 2007).  But the court may still consider–not necessarily as a full dollar for dollar credit but simply as one of many possible factors–that the child has income of his/her own in the form of Social Security benefits.  (See Missouri Child Support Guidelines at Section G, Comment (1).)

Kurt H. King

Law Office of Kurt H. King, 20 E. Franklin, Liberty, Clay County, Missouri 64068

816.781.6000

Divorce & Modification, Child Custody & Modification, Paternity

Bankruptcy, Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation

www.kurthking.com

Blog at WordPress.com.