The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

November 1, 2013

'Big Joe' Clark: Divorce requires sharp financial planning

Some conversations are easier than others. Divorce is painful for many reasons and the financial implications are serious. Sadly many professionals make mistakes and poor assumptions regarding the division of assets.

Rarely does the U.S. Supreme Court rule unanimously and when they do we as professionals need to pay attention. Remember, under the U.S. tax code, if you receive bad advice from a professional, there may be some relief from penalties but the tax implications are still your responsibility.

Regarding the justices’ latest ruling with regard to divorce, here's the brief scoop. Gary and Patricia Langston married in 1964 but unfortunately divorced 29 years later in 1993.

The divorce decree gave the ex-wife benefits to Gary's pension upon retirement. The pension plan allowed Gary to elect survivor benefits and he was required by the courts to make Patricia the beneficiary.

To enforce this, Patricia was supposed to send a form to the pension plan called a DRO or Domestic Relations Order. The plan would then determine whether or not to enforce the DRO as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Either her attorney failed to know that or she simply didn't get around to it and that’s where everything started going south for Patricia.

Before Patricia filed the paperwork with the plan, Gary met Shelly James and they got married. In 2004, 11 years after his divorce from Patricia, Gary retired. Upon retirement he was required to make a benefit election and he chose a 50 percent survivor benefit and made his current wife, Shelly, the beneficiary.

He did not do what was required by the divorce decree and began to receive payments and planned to enjoy a happy retired life. Then he died in October 2005.

In short, after several appeals Patricia was unsuccessful in making a claim on Gary’s pension and Shelly was named as the spouse beneficiary. The ruling may seem tough but it fully exposes the complexity of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) programs, state laws and divorce decree capabilities. Had Patricia acted in a reasonable time frame, she would have been eligible to potentially receive the benefits.

Text Only
Local Business
  • Comcast employees volunteer to help Habitat for Humanity On Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Madison County Habitat for Humanity members will work with more than 30 Comcast employees, families and friends to beautify the grounds and participate in light interior remodeling.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB01006 - snow storm - JC 59a FEMA approves disaster aid for 19 counties

    After initially rejecting Indiana's request for federal aid following a brutal winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved disaster relief on Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Ellks - JC 2a Rezoning approved for Elks Lodge building With no objections from surrounding property owners, the former Elks Lodge at 1803 Broadway has been rezoned for a planned banquet hall and catering service.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • life saver.jpg Man credited with saving life says he was doing his job

    When Richard Goff walked into Louis Moyer's home, he smelled gas.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Housing complex to open for homeless veterans in Kokomo Jackson Street Commons is Kokomo’s new $3.6 million facility providing permanent housing to 27 previously homeless veterans.

    April 21, 2014

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - CATS Buses-09 City to replace CATS fleet With 7-year-old city buses registering 250,000 miles, Anderson is looking to replace its aging transportation fleet.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0420 - Funderburk - 04 Man tries to restore father's tainted legacy at dental clinic

    When news broke earlier this month that the Anderson Dental Clinic had been shut down and several employees, including owner Sally Metzner, had been arrested, Mark Funderburk's main concern was the patients. "A lot of them kept going there because of my dad even after he passed away," he said. "And they didn't deserve this."

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0420 - Scott wise -TM Gaining an edge and spreading the word in 2014 Scott owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse with locations in Indianapolis, Muncie, Mishawaka and Bloomington, encourages business owners to interact with customers and use powerful tools such as Twitter, Facebook or even with a blog to their advantage.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0420 - Amys Attic - TM Business Profile: Hidden treasures can be found here Amy's Attic Thrift Store, which opened April 1, offers a variety of different items including clothing, accessories, furniture, yard decorations and collectibles.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide