HPOPS / HFRRF Benefits
I practice all types of family law, but close to 10 years ago, I stumbled upon and have since developed a niche practice area — representing non-participant spouses in negotiating, settling and litigating divorce disputes arising from the characterization and division of section 457 Deferred Compensation Plan benefits, drag-up pay, and retirement benefits in the Houston Police Officer Pension System Plan (HPOPS) and the Houston Firefighters’ Relief & Retirement Fund (HFRRF). Specifically, the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), the monthly service pension benefit, the one time lump sum payment, the monthly supplement payment, the 13th annual benefit payment, interest accrued on those benefits, cost of living allowances and paid time off benefits. I represent non-participant spouses going through a divorce, currently, and I am also hired to review the division of the HPOPS/HFRRF benefits in old divorce decrees. In the event clients own but have been denied their interest in those benefits, I help them enforce, and clarify, their old decrees, to obtain the value of those benefits. These are the benefits that have become a hot topic in Houston, lately, with City Hall facing a severe benefits funding issue.
Trial Attorney in Texas cases of first impression: Stavinoha v. Stavinoha, 126 S.W.3d 604 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no pet.) (characterization of retirement benefits in HPOPS upon divorce); Gainous v. Gainous, 219 S.W.3d 97 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2006) (enforcement of award of retirement benefits in HFRRF to former spouse);