from Madison Circuit Court. (DR-98-1076.02).
Appellant: Karen Humphrey, Huntsville.
Appellee: Dinah P. Rhodes of Rhodes & Creech, L.L.C.,
Presiding Judge. Pittman, Thomas, Moore, and Donaldson, JJ.,
THOMPSON, Presiding Judge.
Theresa Cornelison n/k/a Kathleen Cramer (" the
wife" ) and Bobby Dean Cornelison (" the
husband" ) were divorced by an August 7, 1998, judgment
of the Madison Circuit Court (" the trial court" ).
That divorce judgment incorporated the terms of a settlement
agreement reached by the parties. In pertinent part, the
divorce judgment provided, with regard to the division of
" 21. The Wife shall be entitled to 50% of the amount of
the Husband's retirement from the National Guard when he
retires from the same. The Wife shall pay all the taxes due
on all of her portion of said retirement benefits.
" The Husband (military member) ... will retire from the
National Guard in June 2005 and he will receive military
retirement benefits at the age of sixty.
" The parties agree that the Wife (recipient spouse),
... shall receive one-half (1/2) of the Husband's
disposable military retirement pay beginning as soon as
practicable upon the Husband's retirement, and continuing
for so long as the Husband is entitled to receive such
benefits. The division of the Husband's military
retirement pay from his service in the National Guard shall
constitute a property settlement to the Wife and shall not be
modifiable in the future.
" The parties' marriage began on September 18, 1980.
The Husband's military service began in June 1979 and it
is estimated that said service will terminate in June 2005.
" The Wife (recipient spouse) is eligible for direct
payment of her portion of the Husband's military
retirement pay from the Defense Finance and Accounting
Service (DFAS) as a result of the parties' being married
for more than ten years of creditable service on active duty
in the National Guard. ...
" The Defense [Finance] and Accounting Service, or its
successor, is authorized and directed to make direct payments
of the Wife's one-half of the Husband's disposable
military retired pay directly to the Wife ... at such address
as she may from time to time provide to DFAS or its
successor. Said payments shall begin effective upon the
Husband's retirement and shall continue payable to the
Wife until the death of the Husband.
" If, during any month that the Husband is entitled to
receive military retired pay, DFAS or its successor shall
fail or refuse to make a direct payment to the Wife and makes
instead payment of the Wife's portion to the Husband,
then the Husband agrees to immediately pay to the Wife her
portion of the military retired pay, it is intended that this
Order shall qualify as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order
as such is defined
under Section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Service Code of
1986, as amended. The parties agree that this Court shall
retain jurisdiction to amend this Order as might be necessary
to establish or maintain its status as a Qualified Domestic
Relations Order, or otherwise to carry out the intent of this
" 22. The Wife shall be entitled to 50% of the amount in
the Husband's police pensions as of the date of the entry
of a final decree of divorce, it is intended that said amount
as determined by said date is a property settlement and the
Wife shall not be entitled to further benefits from said
plans which may have accrued after said date. The parties
agree that pursuant to Qualified Domestic Relations Orders,
50% of the Husband's pension plans, as of said date,
shall be set aside and segregated for the benefit of the wife
in the PEBSCO, Retirement Systems of Alabama plan, and Police
Office Annuity Funds. Such Qualified Domestic Relations
Orders will be substantially in the form of the Orders which
are attached to this ...