TSP & DIVORCE

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demike12
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:23 pm

TSP & DIVORCE

Post by demike12 »

I have a friend that facing divorce. Is there anything he can do to lessen the impact on his TSP?

nittney
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:18 am

Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by nittney »

Well, he / she can look at taking a loan out on his/her TSP and reinvest that $$. It would need to be paid back at a very low interest rate. However, the other investment will more than likely be considered community property also. Maybe stuff it under a mattress until the divorce in final, then reinvest it.

Shadowbend
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by Shadowbend »

There are too many factors to consider (kids, length of marriage, who's leaving for what reason) your friends TSP should not be part of the settlement. Future payments and growth of the TSP account- there's no guarantee. If your friend is worried about losing part of the balance- not without the 10% penalty + taxes.

Just my two cents, get a great Attourney.

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Pocono13
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by Pocono13 »

Consider seeing a marriage counselor. It will be cheaper.

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MSR
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by MSR »

Don't do it. Unless there is abuse or cheating. Statistically, if you hold off 5 years most people are happier.

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Navig8tor
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by Navig8tor »

MSR wrote:Don't do it. Unless there is abuse or cheating. Statistically, if you hold off 5 years most people are happier.


Define "abuse."

Does that mean working until all hours of the night because you're disinterested and don't want to go home to deal with domestic issues. Perhaps not helping around the house, either inside or out, because you've got an adult spouse who breaks hump doing EVERYTHING, inside and out because you work longer hours than the other person. Maybe showing up late for anything and everything that goes down whether it be sporting events for your child, a road trip, a doctor's appointment, paying a bill...or just getting out of bed on the weekend. Then again, could it mean you NEVER do anything your spouse asks YOU to do, but YOU do EVERYTHING they ask you to do.

My point is this: Abuse comes in many different forms than just someone yelling at you or putting their hands on you. If one is married yet has to work full time while coming home to be mom AND dad, bill payer, yard mower, laundry washer, pool cleaner, grocery shopper, cook, softball coach, graduate student at night, doctor/dentist chauffeur, house cleaner, dish washer, pet groomer, handyman...AND STILL DO PERSONAL STUFF for the opposite wife/husband while they remain detached and non-involved....there's a SERIOUS PROBLEM in that relationship!

Or, did you mean to say you can live miserably for another 5 years while pretending everything is "OK"...meanwhile the proposed ex-spouse continues to accrue a percentage of your soon-to-be EX-wealth? The longer you/re married the more they get.
Navig8tor
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MSR
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by MSR »

Hey, I know it's not all it's cracked up to be especially when kids are involved. Maybe, counseling first. Many women withhold intimacy from men as punishment. We just see that as permission to cheat. I think counseling helps communicate these ideas as many people don't think something is wrong. My ex had an ex-boyfriend tell her that if she got rid of me he would leave the wife and three kids. Ha! He did the math and never left the wife and three kids. My ex asked me to get back together, but I had moved on and am now much happier and nine years later she is miserable. Every situation is unique for sure, but try communication first. Sometimes people need to know what they have to lose.

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TomlinsTE
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by TomlinsTE »

nittney wrote:Well, he / she can look at taking a loan out on his/her TSP and reinvest that $$. It would need to be paid back at a very low interest rate. However, the other investment will more than likely be considered community property also. Maybe stuff it under a mattress until the divorce in final, then reinvest it.


For the record, the spouse must consent to a TSP loan. I don't think it would help except maybe to pay the lawyers.
https://www.tsp.gov/planparticipation/l ... Loan.shtml

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Navig8tor
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by Navig8tor »

demike12 wrote:I have a friend that facing divorce. Is there anything he can do to lessen the impact on his TSP?


There's really nothing you CAN do to protect your TSP. It's considered community property. Well, based on personal experience there IS something you can do. I'll get into that after I pass along this story:

We were just talking about this a couple weeks ago. An active duty friend of mine was divorced 5-6 years ago and had to give up 50% of his TSP, plus a large portion of his projected retirement pay (just WRONG in my opinion).

At the time of the initial separation and drafting of the court paperwork, he had "X" amount in his TSP account. As such, 50% of "X" was "X" and that number was annotated in the court paperwork. Before the divorce became final he lost a good chunk of "X" due to a nasty decline in equities. When the divorce became final he had to immediately cough up 50%...so he coughed up 50%.

However, because he had a higher balance when the court paperwork was initially drafted (but the divorce wasn't yet final), he gave up 50% of his balance as of the day of the final decree. That number was 10% or 12% short of the number quoted in the court docs because of the hit to his account. He's a logical guy...although there was an actual monetary balance (that he no longer had) listed in the paperwork that he was supposed to give her, on the day of the divorce the Judge said, "50% of the balance." So, he told TSP to give her 50% of the balance AS OF THAT DAY.

A few months later after the TSP forwarded the check to his now ex-wife, she was TWEAKED that she got considerably less than the figure quoted on the SEPARATION PAPERWORK (remember, the divorce decree said '50%'). It was like $17,000 short, I think he said. She then took him back to court to get the remainder. The Court told him to pay the remainder. He said, "But...," they said, "Oh well." He didn't pay it and ended up having to go to court a THIRD TIME and was awarded the same result, "You make up the difference, however you have to do it, between the balance that was quoted in the initial court documents and the amount the TSP actually gave her."

That in and of itself (writing a specific monetary number in separation paperwork) seems rather ignorant to me. You're still married until your not; therefore, you don't have to give anything to the spouse you're separated from...until you're divorced. Maybe some form of child support but I wouldn't think that would include items like retirement assets. It could takes YEARS to contest and finalize a divorce. Not to mention, you'd figure a Court, or a lawyer, would be smart enough to recognize that an investment vehicle rises and falls in value; therefore, perhaps you should list a PERCENTAGE rather than a specific monetary figure.

End result is he STILL has not paid the money, and in my opinion shouldn't have to. He can't control the equities markets. It's not HIS FAULT the account balance dropped (other than the fact that he didn't run to the G-fund on a big decline). The TSP told her to take care of it in the Court and won't give her any more money. The Court told him TWICE to pay the difference. He's essentially in contempt of court, however, they aren't doing anything about it. So, if you can continually live in contempt of court, and the Court takes no initiative to go after him; what can SHE really do about???

My situation is well different than the aforementioned guy. If you're going to cheat on your husband while he's deployed and serving in combat zone, you will reap what you sow. No, I didn't beat her. :lol:

What saved me is the fact that both of us pretty much made the same amount of money and always kept our finances separated from Day #1. We had a joint bank account from which to pay the mortgage, utilities and other bills but we were both free to spend, save or invest any money NOT in the joint account however we saw fit. (Good tip from my Old Man). I invested my tail off...she bought 200 pairs of shoes :lol: :lol:

To solve my "problem" I drafted a Marital Settlement Agreement, which she signed, indicating that we both waived any past, present or future claim to the others financial assets and future retirement benefits. We split our property on our own. I let her keep the house and everything in it (cost her quite a bit of cash as she had to award me a 50% share of the equity). I took my personal items and went on my merry way. No lawyers, no arguing, no fighting, no getting HOSED in a divorce...which ALWAYS seems to happen to male military members.

The worst part of the entire ordeal was completing all the paperwork BEFORE filing. All told it cost $400 and I broke away clean with no ex-wife in my pocket. We were in court for all of 30 minutes, 20 of which was waiting to be called before the Judge. He actually THANKED US for making his life easy by agreeing on everything and amicably taking care of business on our own. The Judge ratified our agreed upon child support amount without change. Neither of us have had a problem with each other in the 7 years we've been divorced.

So - it CAN BE DONE AMICABLY, and at a low cost, if the parties work together. If you have a spouse who thinks he/she is entitled to half of your assets, if he/she REALLY IS because they don't work, can't work, never did work, no education to get a decent job, no retirement assets or otherwise just can't provide for themselves..you're probably going to have to give up HALF. Otherwise, put your ill feelings aside, sit down at a table, spread out all your stuff and WORK IT OUT before you go to court. Notwithstanding child support, there's no reason why one person should come out significantly ahead of the other in a divorce.

To me, there's no reason why a career military man should get hosed in divorced proceedings just because he's got a retirement check in his/her future but I've seen it happen over and over throughout my near 30-year career. It's like a FREE MONEY SIGN to a divorcing spouse and it REALLY fires me up. The "50% for 10 Years of Marriage" deal is pure fallacy; they are actually entitled to a percentage of your assets and retirement whether you've been married 1 year or 30 years, AND, they don't get 50% after being married for 2 years...unless YOU LET IT HAPPEN. I'm sure there are folks who will adamantly disagree with me on this and that's OK. To each his own.

Best way to avoid this entire conversation: GET A PRE-NUP BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED!!

I told my current flame, "I've got more than enough for both of us; however, everything remains separate. If you're here when I die it's all yours... If you leave before I die you'll be leaving with nothing more than you came with. My parents didn't raise a gold digger and I've got two daughters of my own who've been taught to provide for and take care of themselves. No apologies; no hard feelings; nothing personal...that's just the way it is."

Some may view that as "cold" but it's more self-preservation than anything else. I didn't break hump since I'm 18 years old for someone to come in here and take half of it on a whim!! GET THAT PRE-NUP! If they don't want to sign it, or there's mass protest; it should serve as notice that there may be a problem (called Gold Diggin') that you weren't aware of through your "love goggles."
Navig8tor
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skiehawk11
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by skiehawk11 »

Well after reading all this, it just goes to show that one of the best "investments" to make is when you choose a spouse. Don't rush it.

Thanks Navig8tor for scaring the crap outta me. :lol: xd

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MSR
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by MSR »

Yeah, my current wife is a Doctor and she has her own retirement account.

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Navig8tor
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by Navig8tor »

skiehawk11 wrote:Well after reading all this, it just goes to show that one of the best "investments" to make is when you choose a spouse. Don't rush it.

Thanks Navig8tor for scaring the crap outta me. :lol: xd


Hey Man...just spreading the word while divulging my own sordid history and telling it like it is. Most people don't know this stuff until AFTER they've left the hot seat. By then, it's too late.
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nittney
Posts: 22
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Re: TSP & DIVORCE

Post by nittney »

My wife was awarded not a percentage, but $17,100 of my TSP. We were divorced over 2 years ago and the documents that I sent to TSP was rejected because it didn't state which TSP account it should come from. I have 2 accounts, military and USCS. I combined those accounts a little before the finalized divorce. So my military account is now $0. So, I have been gaining interest on her portion of the TSP in my USCS account. My question is will I owe her interest gained on her portion? It states she will that money "together with all accretions and/or accumulated interest on this sum up to and through July 29, 2011." I haven't told my lawyer that the court document does not suffice for TSP to give her that $$. He was a very expensive lawyer at $400 per hour, but he did do me justice as she only got my military retirement for 10 years. She agreed to it.

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Fund Prices2022-08-10

FundPriceDayYTD
G $16.99 0.01% 1.49%
F $19.12 0.15% -8.47%
C $64.14 2.13% -10.85%
S $69.64 3.34% -16.54%
I $33.95 2.14% -13.91%
L2065 $13.02 2.29% -12.54%
L2060 $13.02 2.29% -12.53%
L2055 $13.02 2.29% -12.52%
L2050 $26.81 1.90% -10.69%
L2045 $12.31 1.78% -9.98%
L2040 $45.22 1.66% -9.20%
L2035 $12.03 1.53% -8.34%
L2030 $40.33 1.39% -7.43%
L2025 $11.63 0.94% -5.02%
Linc $22.96 0.56% -2.25%

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