Are railroad pensions reviewable in WI property division cases? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Larry V. in River Hills, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I went through a divorce. When dividing our marital estate, the court considered my federal railroad retirement pension and my wife’s pension. We each received our own pension from the division, but I thought a non-employee spouse’s rights are terminated. Should I appeal the original decision and have the railroad pension not be considered?

Family Law Attorney Response:

To answer your question briefly, yes, you could appeal as the court incorrectly considered the railroad pension for property division.

In the case of Rommelfanger v. Rommelfanger 114 Wis.2d 175, 337 N.W.2d 851, the court of appeals decided that railroad pensions should not be considered, directly or indirectly, when marital assets are divided. When the trial court divides property, the exercise of discretion is not set-aside on appeal absent of abuse of that discretion. An abuse of discretion occurs when the trial court fails to consider certain factors, makes a mistake in respect to facts that caused division, or provided too much or too little an award to either party.

If you decide you want to appeal, you can contact one of our family law attorneys to set up a consultation and figure out what your next step is.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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