At issue in Janes v. Janes is whether or not a wife is entitled to the gains and losses associated with a “divided” retirement account.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND OF THE DIVISION OF THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT
In 2010 the parties signed a martial settlement agreement dividing their 401(k). The wife was awarded $113,392 as her share of the 401(k). Several years later, the account was formally divided; however, the wife did not receive any gains or losses from her portion of the 401(k). She filed a motion to enforce the terms of the judgment.
RETIREMENT ACCOUNT PROCEEDINGS TO DIVIDE THE 401(k)
During the family court hearing to enforce the judgment, the husband argued that because the marital settlement agreement only identified a specific amount, the wife was entitled to that specific amount and was precluded from receiving any additional amount based upon growth. The wife argued that even though the marital settlement agreement identified a specific amount, it awarded her that specific amount and she was entitled to receive any growth from her separate property. The trial court awarded the wife the initial amount plus any growth thereof. The husband appealed arguing that the family court lacked jurisdiction to modify the marital settlement agreement the parties signed when it awarded the wife growth from the 401(k).
APPEAL OF THE ORDER FOR THE DIVISION OF THE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT
The appellate court affirmed the order. It stated that when a final order of the court is made dividing community property it becomes the separate property of the person who was awarded that asset. As such, a person’s separate property is entitled to any gains or losses from his or her separate property. Therefore, the wife is not only entitled to the amount specified in the marital settlement agreement, she is also entitled to any growth thereof. When the court confirmed the gains to the wife, it was not altering the judgment, the family court was affirming it.
DO YOU NEED HELP WITH ISSUES RELATED TO DIVISION OF PROPERTY?
If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a dissolution issue such as property division or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, spousal support and/or child support, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. We are located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.
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Laguna Hills, California
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