Divorce: Majauskas Formula

During a divorce individuals need to become familiar with various terms.  One of these terms is the “Majauskas formula”.  The Majauskas formula was established by the State Court of Appeals in Majauskas v. Majauskas and is most commonly used for the equitable distribution of a public pension.  The formula is as follows:

50% × years of service credit accrued during marriage (numerator)÷ total service credit at time of retirement (denominator)

Example:

A pension plan member has 15 years of service while married and has 25 years of total service.  At retirement, the ex-spouse’s share of the pension will be 30% (.50 x 15/25).  If the pension plan member’s pension is $60,000 per year; the member will receive $42,000 per year and the ex-spouse will receive $18,000 per year.

There are other equitable distribution choices besides the “standard” Majauskas formula:

  1. Divorcing parties can negotiate the factors of the Majauskas equation.
  2. Freeze the ex-spouse’s share of the pension to the salary and service levels in place at the time of the commencement date of the divorce action.
  3. A flat dollar amount or fixed percentage.