+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19
  1. #1
    Xrandy is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    15

    Ex-Spouse and military retirement pay

    What is the name of your state? California

    I was divorced in Missouri in 12/2003. She moved to Tennessee in 01/2004 where she currently lives. I moved to California in 10/2005. Out divorced was uncontested with me filing and she agreeing.

    I served 20 years in the U.S. Army in 05/2004 and retired with a pension (half of my base pay at the time of retirement). As part of our divorce she recieved 42% of my retirement pay. I recieve the full amount and send her a check for her percentage every month. Because I still have a minor child with her (he is 15) and I want to make visitation as seemless as possible I am always on time with the check.

    I want her to submit garnishment paperwork so that I don't have to keep sending a check. In the end it will be easier when it comes to tax prep and honestly, I just get sick and tired of sending her the check every month (long story short: she is a cheater and treated me badly, and made my time in the military hell). I tried once to get her to put in the paperwork and even went so far as to get her certified copies of our marriage certificate and divorce decree as well as the form itself (I even provided a stamped, pre-addressed envelope for her to send it in) but she never submitted it.

    In my decree it does not address how she is to be paid this money. It states "that Respondent receive 42% of Petitioner's military retirement through the Department of the United States Army". I don't have any official stats, but my antecdotal evidence suggests that most former military spouses recive their percentage via garnsihment.

    I am considering after my son is 18, and I don't have to deal with her as far as visitation goes, to force her hand by simply stopping sending her monthly checks.

    What, if any, repercussions could I face?
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    65,129
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrandy View Post
    What is the name of your state? California

    In my decree it does not address how she is to be paid this money. It states "that Respondent receive 42% of Petitioner's military retirement through the Department of the United States Army". I don't have any official stats, but my antecdotal evidence suggests that most former military spouses recive their percentage via garnsihment.

    I am considering after my son is 18, and I don't have to deal with her as far as visitation goes, to force her hand by simply stopping sending her monthly checks.

    What, if any, repercussions could I face?
    Let me ask you a question. How long were you married to her and in the military at the same time? If it wasn't at least 10 years, I don't think that they will accept a voluntary garnishment. However, if it was 10 years or more, you ought to be able to get the military to set that up yourself. You should need her to do it.
  3. #3
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Up at The Fort, CO
    Posts
    25,335
    What makes you think you can ignore a court order??
  4. #4
    Bali Hai is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    6,338
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverplum View Post
    What makes you think you can ignore a court order??
    What makes you think he can't??
  5. #5
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Up at The Fort, CO
    Posts
    25,335
    Quote Originally Posted by Bali Hai View Post
    What makes you think he can't??
    Silly!
    You should go to law school. You'd make a fortune!!!!
  6. #6
    mlane58 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,856
    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Let me ask you a question. How long were you married to her and in the military at the same time? If it wasn't at least 10 years, I don't think that they will accept a voluntary garnishment. However, if it was 10 years or more, you ought to be able to get the military to set that up yourself. You should need her to do it.
    The OP should still be able to setup an allotment of his retirement to the ex through the Defense Accounting anf Finance Service, that way he wouldn't need a garnishment.
  7. #7
    IrishLady47 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    677
    He could set it up as a voluntary allotment rather than physically mailing a check; however, then he is taxed. If they were married 10+ years, overlapping w/10 yrs of svc, she can submit the DD Fm 2293. Then SHE is taxed on her portion of the pension, not HIM.

    The reason she must submit the garnishment rather than him is because the form includes a statement whereas she agrees to involuntary collection of any overpayment. And, she has to provide her bank account's EFT information.
  8. #8
    Xrandy is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    15
    Thanks to everyone for the advice.

    Ldij, I was married to her for 16 consecutive years while in the military. I'm not arguing the fact that she gets is, I understand that and I never tried to fight it in court (My divorce was uncontested, I just wanted to be free and start my life again, and I knew she would not go along with an uncontested without the retirement pay deal).

    Silverplum, in all seriousness would I be voilating a court order? This is exactly (and the only thing mentioned about it) what it states in my decree, "That Respondent receive 42% of Petioner's military retirement through the department of the United States Army." Where in there does it say that I am required to send her a check or responsible in any way to insure that she gets it. She has a very simple process to go through to get it without even going to court (provide the form and certified copies of marriage cert and divorce decree to the Defense Accouting Office). If you were her laywer wouldn't the first question you asked be "Have you filed for a garnishment"? Wouldn't a court ask the same?

    When I was divorced in 12/2003 I was still in the Army, and I retired in 05/2004. I received my first retirement check in 06/2004 and sent her a check with her percentage, and have doen so ever since. I did this because she is the CP and I wanted to see my son with as little hassle as possible. When he turns 18 that motivation on my part is done.

    Irishlady I have a tax question for you. (A slight detour for background info: During my divorce proceeding the judge made a point of mentioning that this retirement pay was not like alimony and would not end upon my ex remarrying--my lawer told me the same thing--and though it does not explicitly say those words in the decree, when it is adressed, see above, it is in the same paragraph as property.) I understand that this will be a life long deal, and I'm not trying to change that, my point (or question rather) is that for tax purposes I have been calling this alimony. The reason is that there is no where on tax forms to claim it in any other way. If the judge is correct and it is not "alimony" have I been cheating on my taxes or does the IRS still consider it alimony and it is just a matter of semantics?

    If it is not alimony then there is a huge reason to get her to file for the garnishment. WIthout the garnishment I am getting the entire amount, being taxed in full for it, and she is getting 42% and paying notta.
  9. #9
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Up at The Fort, CO
    Posts
    25,335
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrandy View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the advice.

    Silverplum, in all seriousness would I be voilating a court order? This is exactly (and the only thing mentioned about it) what it states in my decree, "That Respondent receive 42% of Petioner's military retirement through the department of the United States Army." Where in there does it say that I am required to send her a check or responsible in any way to insure that she gets it. She has a very simple process to go through to get it without even going to court (provide the form and certified copies of marriage cert and divorce decree to the Defense Accouting Office). If you were her laywer wouldn't the first question you asked be "Have you filed for a garnishment"? Wouldn't a court ask the same?

    When I was divorced in 12/2003 I was still in the Army, and I retired in 05/2004. I received my first retirement check in 06/2004 and sent her a check with her percentage, and have doen so ever since. I did this because she is the CP and I wanted to see my son with as little hassle as possible. When he turns 18 that motivation on my part is done.
    Yes, you would be violating your court order. Who gets the check? You do. So yes, you are responsible to send the portion to her, until/unless you manage to get the decree changed. The decree doesn't tell her to get a garnishment, does it? It's your job to send it.

    Money and "visitation" are two different animals in family court. She can't withhold your son from you (during your court-ordered parenting time) because of money. And you can't withhold money to punish her for whatever she may have done on a custody issue. So you have no reason to pay alimony as a means to see your son -- you pay alimony because you are court-ordered to do it, and she provides you with your son because she is court-ordered to do it. They aren't connected.

    You're acting like a kid on this alimony check issue. I'm surprised...the military men I know aren't childish and petty.
  10. #10
    IrishLady47 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    677
    No, you have not been cheating on your taxes. You should only pay taxes on the portion of the pension you receive and she should pay taxes on the portion she receives. In the civilian world, an QDRO would have been issued to split the pension. DFAS does not accept QDROs.

    You may want to ask the IRS if you have been deducting this from your income in the right place. It isn't alimony, although tax-wise, it works the same.

    This is why filing the DD Fm 2293 makes it easier for both of you. You each get your separate EFT payment from DFAS and, at the end of the year, you each would receive your own 1099-R.

    As SilverPlum pointed out and as I pointed out to you in my response in Military Law, if you simply stop sending the payment to her, she can file contempt of court.

    I disagree with Silver about you being petty on this issue; I believe your ex is being petty and childish for not filing the form. Especially if you provided it to her. Or she may be cheating on her taxes since there is no 1099-R provided to the IRS in her name. Yes, you provide her name & SSN for your deduction from income--but I don't know if IRS runs 100% matches on these items.

    In addition to the possible solution I provided in Military Law, you don't have to SEND a personal check each month. You could initiate an allotment directly depositing the amount into her account. Of course, then you'd still have deduct it from income on your tax return.

    Otherwise, you will have to modify your divorce decree to add the stipulation that ex must file a DD Form 2293.

    Perhaps Ldij will chime in about properly preparing your tax return until you resolve this issue.
  11. #11
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Up at The Fort, CO
    Posts
    25,335
    Quote Originally Posted by IrishLady47 View Post
    I disagree with Silver about you being petty on this issue; I believe your ex is being petty and childish for not filing the form. Especially if you provided it to her. Or she may be cheating on her taxes since there is no 1099-R provided to the IRS in her name. Yes, you provide her name & SSN for your deduction from income--but I don't know if IRS runs 100% matches on these items.
    Don't get me wrong -- I don't think OP's X is a Fine Human Being for being such a jerk about filling out the form, etc.

    I said he was being petty because he's "threatening/suggesting" to WITHHOLD his payments altogether (once his son is grown) in order to force the X into setting up the withholding.
  12. #12
    IrishLady47 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    677
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverplum View Post
    Don't get me wrong -- I don't think OP's X is a Fine Human Being for being such a jerk about filling out the form, etc.

    I said he was being petty because he's "threatening/suggesting" to WITHHOLD his payments altogether (once his son is grown) in order to force the X into setting up the withholding.
    Understood. I would describe withholding the payments as "stupid" versus "petty". You say tomayto, I say tomahto. Other solutions are available w/o violating the court orders. Methinks tit-for-tat is their normal mode of interaction.
  13. #13
    Xrandy is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    15
    Stupid or petty, I don't know. I guess my reason is that I don't want to have anything to do with her and I was hoping that after my son was aged 18 my dream would come true (you know all that clean slate, 2nd chance in life nonsense). I won't go into it all but combat could never give me the post-tramatic stress that she did. Since my divorce I've remarried to a wonderful woman. My ex calls to chit-chat, etc, much to our annoyance and we both know that the reason she won't go for the garnishment is simply that she wants me to write her a check every month. I guess it does sound petty to the outside observer to care so much about what is really no more than a little ink and a stamp but it sure would be nice not to...
  14. #14
    IrishLady47 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    677
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrandy View Post
    Stupid or petty, I don't know. I guess my reason is that I don't want to have anything to do with her and I was hoping that after my son was aged 18 my dream would come true
    Wake up. She will not disappear when your son turns 18, she will always be his mother. Your son may get married, have children. Weddings, births, etc. You can put the past behind you, but you cannot rewrite it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xrandy View Post
    we both know that the reason she won't go for the garnishment is simply that she wants me to write her a check every month.
    Just curious, how exactly do you KNOW this? Did you ask her?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xrandy View Post
    I guess it does sound petty to the outside observer to care so much about what is really no more than a little ink and a stamp but it sure would be nice not to...
    And, you were given solutions OTHER than withholding payments to accomplish that. Set up an allotment (no check, no ink, no stamp!!). File to modify the court order. Vary the date of payment each month and send the form w/documents with each check--pointing out the convenience to her of receiving it direct into her account the 1st business day of the month.

    Noooo, you only want to get a reaction by stopping payment. Like I thought, tit-for-tat.
  15. #15
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    65,129
    Quote Originally Posted by Xrandy View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the advice.
    Irishlady I have a tax question for you. (A slight detour for background info: During my divorce proceeding the judge made a point of mentioning that this retirement pay was not like alimony and would not end upon my ex remarrying--my lawer told me the same thing--and though it does not explicitly say those words in the decree, when it is adressed, see above, it is in the same paragraph as property.) I understand that this will be a life long deal, and I'm not trying to change that, my point (or question rather) is that for tax purposes I have been calling this alimony. The reason is that there is no where on tax forms to claim it in any other way. If the judge is correct and it is not "alimony" have I been cheating on my taxes or does the IRS still consider it alimony and it is just a matter of semantics?

    If it is not alimony then there is a huge reason to get her to file for the garnishment. WIthout the garnishment I am getting the entire amount, being taxed in full for it, and she is getting 42% and paying notta.
    I am a tax professional, and no, you are not cheating to call it alimony in that context. She is supposed to be being taxed on the money, and that is your only method (at least until the garnishment is set up) to accomplish that.

    I would suggest that you put the paperwork together for her again, and tell her that she needs to get it set up, because as of XXX date, you will not be sending her another check.

Similar Threads

  1. Military spouse retirement arrears
    By blueskys in forum Military Law
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-23-2010, 08:14 AM
  2. Military ex-spouse retirement pay
    By Vettechgella@gm in forum Divorce, Separation & Annulment
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-13-2008, 07:13 AM
  3. Military Retirement to my Former Spouse
    By rtime in forum Divorce, Separation & Annulment
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-16-2008, 07:06 PM
  4. Ex-Spouse and military retirement pay
    By kj4981 in forum Military Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-07-2008, 02:02 PM
  5. former military spouse retirement pay
    By lynn23 in forum Divorce, Separation & Annulment
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-03-2008, 10:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.