“Millennial Moms Focused on ‘Me’ Time, Study Says.” Time has value in a marriage; so it has value in a divorce. As a matter of first impression, the Court considered whether accrued time off earned during a marriage is marital “property” subject to equitable distribution. The trial court divided husband’s accrued time; the court of appeals reversed finding the value too uncertain to be deemed property and remanded. The Court affirmed on different grounds, examining two strains of thought: 1) leave as an alternative form of wages is not property; or 2) leave as deferred compensation and is property. The Court held that leave has value as time off or as cash, so if an enforceable right to be paid for leave exists, it is property. If its value can be reasonably ascertained it is divisible; if not, the time should be treated as an economic circumstance when equitably dividing property.
Tag Archives: Dissolution of Marriage
“I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor. In this divorce case, Husband is ordered to make monthly payments of $5,000 in child support and $12,000 in maintenance (Obligations). He fails to pay, accumulates $101,486 in arrearages and has his law license suspended. The trial court permits Wife to collect from his retirement account pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) under 29 U.S.C. 1056 (ERISA). A QDRO allows a former spouse to obtain benefits owed to a participant in a retirement plan, and can be used to enforce payment of support and maintenance obligations. Under CRS 13-54-102, however, a retirement plan is not subject to such orders. The court of appeals held that Colorado’s law conflicts with ERISA, a Federal law, and is preempted. Husband’s retirement contributions could be taken to meet his Obligations.
[Please see comments regarding links]
When it comes to kids and divorce, alternative dispute resolution is an option, but courts are ultimately responsible for protecting the best interests of children. CRS 14-10-128.5 authorizes court review of a dissolution of marriage arbitration award pursuant to the Arbitration Act, CRS 13-22-222, which favors confirmation of such awards. But, the trial court may review issues related to children de novo if a timely request is made. Here, an arbitrator issued a final award that included parenting time. Wife moved to confirm, but at a later hearing indicated she did not believe the award was in the best interest of the child. That request was made 42 days after the award, not 30 (as then required). The court of appeals held that the trial court lacked the authority to conduct a de novo review because the request was not timely. Thus, the trial court should have confirmed the entire award.