Gains and Losses Not Included in Division of Retirement Accounts When Not So Stated in Settlement Agreement – Published Opinion from Kentucky Court of Appeals

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Ehret v. Ehret

 

The parties entered into a marital settlement agreement, which was incorporated into a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage entered on June 27, 2012. The parties amended the agreement and a supplemental decree was entered on March 6, 2013. In 2017, the parties revisited the issue of Husband's retirement accounts. A QDRO was prepared and filed with the Court on January 20, 2018. The Court entered an agreed Order, which stated that the valuation date of the retirement account for purposes of division was July 20, 2012. The Agreed Order further stated that the parties agreed to use Husband's retirement plan for the equalization of assets, and that Wife was "to receive $26,790 additional monies to equalize the marital assets." The parties did not agree whether Wife was entitled to receive gains and losses on her equalization portion of $26,290. The trial court found that the parties reached an agreement that Wife was entitled to a fixed amount representing asset equalization and that the court could not order a new sum resulting from either gains or losses. Wife appealed.

 

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision holding that the QDRO did not allow for Wife's equalization payment to be subject to gains or losses. The parties agreed to a sum certain for Wife's share of Husband's retirement account and the parties' documents were silent regarding gains and losses of this asset.

 

Digested by Emily T. Cecconi