K Plan Contributions Part of Alimony Determination

January 6, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A wife's 401(k) contributions represent income for the purposes of determining the amount of alimony to which she is entitled, a Missouri state appeals court ruled.

According to a report by Washington-based legal publisher BNA, the Missouri Court of Appeals threw out a lower court ruling excluding the $4,587 the woman had made to her 401(k) plan in 1999 as part of the income determination. The lower court awarded $2,500 in alimony

However, the appeals judges agreed with the lower court that the husband’s SEP-IRA should be divided equally between the parties. Because the husband could not trace his original holdings in the SEP-IRA to his premarital holdings in the account, his premarital funds had become “transmuted into marital property,” the appeals court ruled.

The case is Muenz v. Muenz, Mo. Ct.App., No. ED80039, 12/24/02.