In re Thrailkill (Kansas 2019)

No. 118,246 (Kan. App. 2019)
September 2019

Military retirement benefits are income for child support. The mother filed for divorce. Both parents were retired military. The father was career military and was currently receiving retirement and disability benefits. The mother hadn’t served as long, so she wasn’t eligible for her retirement pay until age 60. The district court equally divided the retirement benefit. The mother would receive half of the father’s now; then the father would receive half of the mother’s benefit once she was eligible. The district court included the father’s retirement as income for child support. The father appealed. He argued that his retirement wasn’t income since it had been divided as part of the property settlement. He also argued the court should have used a lower amount for his disability payment because it would reduce after the divorce. The court of appeals upheld the district court’s decision. It found the statutory definition of income included income from “all sources,” and that even though the benefit was divided, it was still income. Further, it the trial court properly considered the father’s income as of the time of trial to calculate support. The father’s testimony about a reduction in disability was speculative.