Broadhead v. Broadhead

In Broadhead v. Broadhead, 737 P.2d 731, 736-737 (Wyo. 1987), the Court recognized the majority rule that retirement benefits earned during the marriage should be considered in the equitable division of the marital property. The Court also held that if possible and practicable, the trial court should allocate the retirement fund at the time of the divorce in order to sever the ties of the parties so that they may start their lives anew. Id. at 739. In Broadhead, the Court addressed the valuation of retirement benefits that had not yet vested with the divorcing employee. The Court held that: "no mechanical process for the valuation of the employer contribution as nonvested is possible with the indeterminate expectancy that exists. It is recognized that actuarial experts can apply some rules of probability as appropriate evidence, but any opinion conclusion is subject to the conjectural effect of employee exercised options. We specifically determine that the trial court is entitled to receive evidence and give valuative consideration to the nonvested employer's share of the state retirement program. Obviously, age, work stability, length of service, likelihood of discharge, or voluntary pre-retirement work termination are all intangible factors to be considered in a generalized valuation of the present worth of future expectancy. No specific rule or arrangement can be made applicable for each individual case." (Id., 737 P.2d at 738.)