from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish
of Bossier, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 124, 222,
Honorable Jefferson R. Thompson, Judge.
SOCKRIDER, BOLIN, ANGLIN, BATTE & HATHAWAY, By: Gregory
H. Batte, Counsel for Appellant.
J. MICIOTTO, MARY T. AMARI, Counsel for Appellee.
DREW, MOORE, and STONE, JJ.
Spivey appeals from a judgment finalizing the separation of
community property incidental to his divorce from Sarah
Spivey. We amend the judgment and, as amended, affirm.
and Albert Spivey married in Monroe in May 1989; thereafter,
they lived in Bossier Parish and had two children. They had a
community property regime during the marriage. The Spiveys
separated on August 3, 2007, and Sarah filed a petition for a
La. C.C. art. 102 divorce on September 7, 2007. The trial
court judge signed an order that same day. The order, among
other things, terminated the community as of the date of
custody issues were subsequently resolved, and the divorce
was finalized in 2013, leaving only a dispute about spousal
support and the division of community property undecided.
Sarah filed a petition to partition the community property in
31, 2014, the parties appeared before the court to finally
resolve the outstanding issues. At that hearing, Albert's
attorney explained that it was the intent of the parties to
(1) a rule for back due spousal support and a related
(2) a rule for permanent spousal support, and
(3) the community property issue.
agreed to pay Sarah $23, 000 at the rate of $1, 000 per month
as a resolution of Sarah's claim for past due interim
lawyer further clarified:
This settlement eliminates those claims forever. In addition,
it also - all rights, claims and/or causes of action for
permanent periodic spousal support are forever waived and
extinguished by this settlement . . . . And any future rule
would be considered already dismissed with prejudice. And in
addition to that, with regard to the assets of the community
of acquets and gains, all assets held by either party shall
remain in the full ownership of either party and any claims
for reimbursement, any cross-claims of any nature are forever
relinquished and disposed of.
remaining issue was the division of Albert's railroad
retirement benefits. During the marriage, Albert was employed
by Kansas City Southern Railroad ("KCS"), and while
so employed, he accrued retirement benefits. These annuity
benefits are administered by the federal U.S. Railroad
Retirement Board (the "Board"), pursuant to 45
U.S.C. § 231, et seq., and that agency has regulations
in place relating to the partition of such annuities in
property settlements incidental to divorce. See 20
C.F.R. § 295 et seq. An important step in the
partition process is the submission of a partition order to
the Board. Albert's counsel explained that the
lawyers were going to prepare a court order harmonizing the
federal rules with Louisiana's Sims v.
Sims formula for the partition of assets, with
Sarah's counsel explaining:
[T]he intent is to follow whatever the Railroad Retirement
Act provides in conjunction with whatever Louisiana law
provides, whether it is defined benefit plan and/or the
Sims formula using years of service versus years of
marriage, and we'll prepare a court order or a decree
separate from the judgment for the … qualified
domestic relations order.
further told the court that they would submit
material from the Board explaining the process
along with the order, and Albert's counsel agreed to
prepare the order. Albert testified that he agreed with the
terms of the agreement as expressed in court and expressly
agreed that ...