Trant v. Trant, 88-02504

Decision Date14 June 1989
Docket NumberNo. 88-02504,88-02504
Citation545 So.2d 428,14 Fla. L. Weekly 1468
Parties14 Fla. L. Weekly 1468 Richard TRANT, Appellant, v. Janice TRANT, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

G. Craig Soria, Sarasota, for appellant.

Charles J. Cheves of Cheves & Rapkin, Venice, for appellee.


This is an appeal from an amended final judgment of dissolution of marriage entered after remand in Trant v. Trant, 522 So.2d 72 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988) (Trant I). We reverse.

At the time of the original final judgment, April 1, 1987, the parties had been married 22.4 years. During the entire marriage the husband was employed with the Florida Highway Patrol and is a vested member of the State of Florida Retirement System. As part of the final judgment, the trial court awarded the wife a forty-five percent (45%) interest in the husband's pension. In Trant I, we said:

We affirm the final judgment. However, we find that the wife is not entitled to the increased value of the pension fund after the date of dissolution. Diffenderfer v. Diffenderfer, 491 So.2d 265 (Fla.1986) and Howerton v. Howerton, 491 So.2d 614 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986). It is unclear from the judgment whether the forty-five (45%) percent is to be calculated at the time the benefits are paid rather than based on present value. We therefore remand this cause for valuation of the pension plan and the entry of an amended final judgment reflecting the wife's monetary entitlement as of the date the judgment was entered.

522 So.2d at 73. By "monetary entitlement" we meant a specific fixed dollar amount.

Neither party offered further testimony or evidence at the hearing following remand. Confronted with these circumstances the trial judge entered an amended final judgment setting forth the method by which he arrived at the forty-five percent (45%) award and reaffirming his prior award of the wife's interest in the pension. He made no determination of a specific monetary value of the wife's interest.

Our mandate required the lower court to determine the present money value of the wife's pension interest. In fairness to the trial judge, he was afforded little assistance by the parties in this regard. We know of no Florida decision which details the procedures used in determining present money value. We, therefore, look to other jurisdictions.

Two principal methods have evolved whereby courts distribute and divide pensions: the "immediate offset" method and the "deferred distribution" method. Braderman v. Braderman, 339 Pa.Super. 185, 488 A.2d 613 (1985). Under the immediate offset method, Janice Trant would receive the present value of her interest in Richard Trant's pension either in cash or as an offset in the husband's share of marital property.

The immediate offset method requires complicated calculations and will generally require expert testimony. In summary, the trial court would:

1. Using the opinion of an actuary, determine the value of the husband's interest in the fund as of the date of the final hearing.

2. Calculate how much of the present value was earned during the marriage by:

a. Creating a fraction where the numerator is the amount of time the employee was married while participating in the plan, and the denominator is the total time the employee has in the plan. This "coverture fraction" is the amount of the pension fund accumulated during the marriage; and

b. Multiplying the present value of the plan by the coverture fraction to produce a dollar figure. This is the part of...

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17 cases
  • Bain v. Bain, 89-451
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 4 Enero 1990
    ...court has made it appear that premarital and post-dissolution contributions were incorrectly valued within the 25%. See Trant v. Trant, 545 So.2d 428 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989) (appeal after remand); and Carlson v. Carlson, 549 So.2d 1160 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989). It is incumbent upon the trial court to ......
  • Reynolds v. Reynolds, s. 91-2832
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 9 Marzo 1993 limit the discretion which has been granted trial judges in this regard. See Diffenderfer, 491 So.2d at 265; see also Trant v. Trant, 545 So.2d 428 (Fla. 2d DCA), review denied, 551 So.2d 464 (Fla.1989). However, here a method was chosen which clearly considered post-dissolution income. ......
  • Boyett v. Boyett
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • 11 Diciembre 1997
    ...logic and fairness of this at oral argument. Furthermore, this is in accord with the reasoning of the Second District in Trant v. Trant, 545 So.2d 428 (Fla. 2d DCA), review denied, 551 So.2d 464 (Fla.1989), with respect to deferred distribution. By valuing the retirement plan without penalt......
  • Richardson v. Richardson
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 1 Abril 2005
    ...agreed to have their pensions distributed via the "deferred distribution" method as explained by this court in Trant v. Trant, 545 So.2d 428, 429 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989). Under this approach, the court determines what the employee's benefit would be if he retired on the date of the final hearing......
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2 books & journal articles
  • Ruberg, Parry, and the classification of unvested stock options.
    • United States
    • Florida Bar Journal Vol. 81 No. 10, November 2007
    • 1 Noviembre 2007 other states. (22) Parry applies the fraction utilized to determine the marital portion of pension plans and cites to Trant v. Trant, 545 So. 2d 428 (Fla.2d DCA 1989), for the appropriate calculations. The numerator is "the amount of time the employee was married while participating in t......
  • Dividing pension property after Boyett.
    • United States
    • Florida Bar Journal Vol. 75 No. 2, February - February 2001
    • 1 Febrero 2001
    ...been applied to the benefit at retirement or not used altogether. Cart Before the Horse The Boyett decision championed Trant v. Trant, 545 So. 2d 428 (Fla. 2d DCA 1989), in fashioning its ruling. Unfortunately, Trant provided specific guidance on the immediate offset method and not the defe......

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