Post-Divorce Pension Boost Tied to Performance Is Not a Shared Asset

January 19, 2011 – In The News
New Jersey Law Journal

In the Barr v. Barr case, Thomas Barr admits that his former wife, Judith, should receive part of his pension, but not the amount attributable to his promotion that occurred years after the two split. Jennifer Weisberg Millner, Barr’s attorney, says the case “emphasizes that when it is possible to look at post-marital efforts, we really need to do that.” She says it builds on Menake v. Menake, 348 N.J. Super. 442 (App. Div. 2002), which said courts “have not required that the value of [pension] benefits as of the date of retirement be analyzed to determine, and subtract out, any enhancement due to post-divorce work effort” but “[w]e do not foreclose that possibility.”

Millner adds that though the ruling is not limited to military pensions as in the Barr case, it is particularly important to service members as they are often engaged in dangerous activities and their advancement tends to be based on “service in the here and now versus historical service.”