July 2017 Bar Bulletin
By Laura Carlsen
Merriam-Webster’s sixth-listed definition of “stand” is “to be in a position to gain or lose because of an action taken or a commitment made,”1 and parties to a divorce now stand on the edge of that exact precipice of uncertain gain or loss due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Howell decision.2
Issued on May 15, Howell overruled decades of case law and held that state courts are forbidden from requiring a military service member to indemnify a former spouse for lost military retired pay due to the service member’s election to receive disability benefits. At first glance,...