Marriage of Poppe
California Court of Appeal
97 Cal. App. 3d 1, 158 Cal. Rptr. 500 (1979)
Josephine Poppe (plaintiff) and Daniel Poppe (defendant) were married for just over 27 years, during which time Daniel served in the Naval Reserve, as he continued to do until his retirement. Prior to the parties’ marriage, Daniel had served on active duty in the Navy from 1937 to 1946. Daniel’s retirement benefits as a Navy reservist were vested when Daniel met the minimum number of qualifying years of service, in which he achieved at least 50 points of service per year, and the amount of those retirement benefits was based on the total number of service points accumulated during his service. A service point was awarded for one day of being on duty, whether on active duty or in a training drill. As a result, while Daniel was married for 27.5 of his 31.5 qualifying years of service, Daniel earned only 1,632 service points during his marriage out of the total of 5,002 service points he earned altogether, including his active and reserve duty service. The trial court, using the time-rule determination of the community-property interest in Daniel's retirement, held that Josephine was entitled to a fraction measuring 27.5/31.5 of Daniel's retirement benefit, or the amount of $253.60. Daniel appealed on the basis that the time-rule determination was not an accurate measurement of the community contribution to Daniel's service points.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaufman, J.)
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