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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 12-03-2007, 10:54 AM
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Default Pension amounts and equalization

We are haggling the equalization amounts and essentially the only asset accumulated during the course of our marriage was my pension. The mediator calculated the equalization payment based on my pension amount less debts owing, divided by two. The pension amount was arrived at by basically taking the number on the report I get from the insurance company who handles it for my employer at the date of separation.

Admitedly, I am fantastically pension dumb - I have no clue how it all works. Is the amount on my report the number which should be used?

Also, despite the fact that I don't actually have access to my pension money until I retire, the equalization payments have to start pretty much immediately, right?
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:05 PM
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The pension valuation is done as of the separation date to estimate the value of the pension at that time. Between separation and your retirement date, that value will increase due to your continuing years of service and additional contributions that you will be making into the plan over those years. Your ex does not participate in that increase, only the value until separation.

So you're right about not having access to the money until you retire, but the purpose of equalization is to value what you have at separation and make a payment to, well "equalize" your property. That equalization is payable more or less immediately, but the glacial nature family law is such that it could be many, many months, even years before you resolve everything.

The interesting thing I found on my wife's recently received pension valuation was that it only valued the amount at separation date, but not at marriage date. I believe it's only the increase in value between those two dates that gets coinsidered. If that's true, we also need a valuation for marriage date to properly apply the rules.

Anyone care to comment on that?
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Old 12-05-2007, 10:15 AM
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As it turns out, the moderator now says there will be NO equalization payment because our total debts are greater than our total assets - completely contradicting what she was trying to get me to agree to last time.

We've had a couple of head-scratchers like that in mediation, and I'm thinking now that she's basically trying to get us to come up with a settlement even if it means accepting something which - unbeknownst to us - is unreasonable. I understand her job is to get us to reach an agreement, but what is the point of getting us to make concessions that our lawyers will just quash before signing anyhow?

I'm going to meet with a lawyer before our next mediation and just find out once and for all how things are supposed to work with regards to finance and custody issues. I think I'm just way to confused about what I'd get it we fought it out in court to make sound judgements about what i should concede to in mediation.
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