Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nebraska Court of Appeals in an opinion not designated for permanent publication reverses Washington County District Court ruling that gave divorced husband credit for income tax he paid on retirement plan benefits he kept because the parties failed to file a qualified domestic relations order, QDRO, for nearly three years after the court's divorce decree. Sears v. Sears, A-09-378Parties divorced in 2005 and the court ordered a QDRO to deal with the husband's retirement plan. The parties appealed the divorce but did not deal with the retirement assets, so the court's award to the wife of the retirement funds became the law of the case. For nearly three years however without a QDRO the husband continued to receive the full retirement check. Wife sought an accounting for those amounts. Nebraska Court of Appeals rules in her favor and reverses the husband's credit for taxes he paid on the full amount. Blaine v. Blaine, 275 Neb. 87, 744 N.W.2d 444 (2008), holds that an accounting is appropriate to address the monetary balancing required by the delayed entry of a QDRO required by a divorce decree. If and when the judgment is paid, the tax consequences are between the parties and the IRS. To the extent that the record supports a conclusion about taxability, Sonderup‟s testimony was clear that the judgment would not be income to Donna. Accordingly, the award of a credit of $7,458 for husbands income taxes is reversed.

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