Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Vacating Divorce Decrees When the Scales Tip

January 2019 Bar Bulletin

By Kim Schnuelle

An older woman (Sue) walks into your office. Her divorce was finalized almost 10 years ago and, as part of her settlement, she received 75 percent of her then-husband Frank’s PERS 3 pension.

She tells you that she had accepted a disproportionate amount of his pension, even though she was aware that she could not receive the benefits of this pension for a decade, in lieu of a substantially reduced spousal maintenance award. Her reasoning, which is nowhere listed in the final orders, was that she would then receive these “guaranteed” funds around the time of her own retirement.

The decree required Frank...

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