Providing service and support to film and television musicians.

Forgot password?

DIVORCE POLICY & SPLITS

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Participants who are contemplating a divorce are encouraged to review this information prior to meeting with their Legal Counsel/Attorney. Please read our divorce split checklist before submitting any divorce split to the Fund.

Please Click Here to download our DIVORCE SPLIT CHECKLIST.

The Fund can process a divorce split in one of two ways:

  1. The first option is on a film-by-film basis (based on year of work performed during the marriage). [NOTE: To determine the year the work was performed, the Fund uses the year in which the project was first released in its Primary market. In the case of film, that is the year it was released theatrically; for TV it is the year the TV movie/series or episode first aired on free or pay-TV. The Fund uses the website IMDB.com as a reference for this purpose.] The film-by-film basis is always split 50/50 – i.e., 50% of a specified film title's pro-rata share for the participant goes to one party, 50% to the other. Payment for the musician/participant will be subject to tax withholdings but NOT the payments for the ex-spouse. In this case, a 1099 is generated for the ex-spouse and a W-2 is generated for the musician/participant. Once set up, this split of films will continue indefinitely, unless the Fund is instructed to change it by court order. The Court order MUST specifically name the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund as the entity distributing these payments. If another entity is named, we will not be able to comply with the order until a correction is made. Participants who choose to split on a film-by-film basis MUST provide the Fund with the list of films to split.
  2. Another option the Fund provides is splitting a participant's annual check gross amount each year, by a given or variable percentage for either a determinate number of years or indefinitely. As with option 1, payment for the musician/participant will be subject to tax withholdings but NOT the payments for the ex-spouse. As above, a 1099 is generated for the ex-spouse and a W-2 is generated for the musician/participant. Participants who choose this option may split the check in any manner (i.e., 50/50, 60/40, etc.) In addition, the split may vary from year to year (e.g. 1st year – 60/40; 2nd yr 50/50; 3rd – 40/60, 4th yr. 30/70; etc.). Again, once set up this split will continue indefinitely, unless the Fund is instructed to change it by Court Order. The Court order MUST specifically name the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund as the entity distributing these payments. If another entity is named, we will not be able to comply with the order until a correction is made.

Participants who choose the film-by-film option may request that the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund provide them with a listing of their paid films from inception to date. The written request should be sent to the attention of either the Manager of Operations, Deputy Executive Director, or the Fund Paralegal. This listing will include all films a participant has worked on for which the Fund has received contributions. However, the list the Fund provides may not be the exhaustive universe of titles from the participant's body of work. Generally, The Fund provides this material and participants determine which assets (films) are to be split for purposes of the divorce settlement case. The finalized list of titles needs to be filed with the court and the Fund will apply the film-by-film split from that list provided by the court order. However, some titles that would have otherwise been subject to the divorce decree may not be on the list provided by the Fund due to the fact that such titles may report to the Fund after the date of the decree as a result of a delay in the timing of the reporting of residual earnings by the employer to the Fund. Titles that do not appear on this list will not be subject to the 50/50 split, unless subject to further action from the court. It is the responsibility of the Participant to ensure that all applicable titles are included in the divorce settlement. Participants are encouraged to keep this in mind when drafting the court order. The Fund cannot add films not included in the divorce settlement absent a filed copy of the court order.

The Fund is not in a position to offer legal advice and encourages participants considering either option to discuss it with an attorney and a qualified tax advisor before making a decision. The Fund will then follow the instructions of the court order (or final judgment of dissolution), which we require, before we process the information. Please remember that the court order must be specific as to the percentage each spouse is to receive and the duration in which the court order will remain in effect.

Updated: 9/29/2011