Stock v. Stock


IN THE ARIZONA COURT OF APPEALS DIVISION ONE SUSANNE KAY STOCK, Petitioner/Appellee, v. MICHAEL JOSEPH STOCK, Respondent/Appellant. No. 1 CA-CV 20-0015 FC FILED 12-29-2020 Appeal from the Superior Court in Yavapai County No. P1300DO201800931 The Honorable Cele Hancock, Judge AFFIRMED IN PART; REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED COUNSEL Popp Law Firm PLC, Tempe By James S. Osborn Popp Counsel for Petitioner/Appellee Raymond S. Dietrich PLC, Phoenix By Raymond S. Dietrich Counsel for Respondent/Appellant STOCK v. STOCK Opinion of the Court OPINION Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Judge D. Steven Williams and Judge David D. Weinzweig joined. T H U M M A, Judge: ∂1 Michael Joseph Stock (Husband) appeals from the denial of his motion to alter or amend post-decree orders awarding a portion of his federal retirement benefits, including for his pre-marriage federal service, to Susanne Kay Stock (Wife). The community is entitled to reimbursement for community funds used to purchase a credit for Husbandís pre-marriage federal service. Wife, in turn, is entitled to receive her portion of that reimbursement plus interest from the time of purchase. The community, however, did not acquire an ownership interest in retirement benefits attributable to Husbandís pre-marriage service. Accordingly, the order denying Husbandís motion to alter or amend is reversed to the extent that it addresses Husbandís federal service credit, and this matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY ∂2 During the marriage, the parties increased Husbandís federal retirement benefits by using community funds to purchase credit for time Husband served in the military before the marriage. After Wife petitioned for dissolution, the parties entered into a settlement agreement dividing community property, which the court incorporated into the decree. Consistent with that settlement agreement, the decree awarded Wife her community portion of Husbandís federal retirement benefits. ∂3 Wife later moved for entry of retirement benefit division orders, lodging proposed orders awarding her 37.09 percent of Husbandís monthly federal retirement benefits. Wife calculated that percentage by comparing the months of Husbandís federal service and the months of the marriage, divided by half to reflect her interest in the community portion of the benefits. Wifeís calculation included in both time periods the months of pre-marriage service credit purchased with community funds. Wifeís proposed orders also directed payment of her share of the retirement benefits directly to her, and then to her estate if she predeceased Husband. Husband opposed Wifeís motion and lodged competing orders that would 2 STOCK v. STOCK Opinion of the Court award Wife a pro rata share of his gross monthly federal retirement benefits, excluding the purchased pre-marriage service credit. Husbandís competing orders also would direct that payment be made to Wife, but not to her estate. Husband requested that the court enter his proposed orders or set the matter for an evidentiary hearing. ∂4 The court entered Wifeís proposed orders, stating they were consistent with the partiesí agreement reflected in the decree. Husband unsuccessfully moved to …

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