In order to process a divorce accommodation whereby the Fund allocates a payment directly to a Musician’s ex-spouse as part of a divorce agreement, several steps are required:
- The Musician must submit to the Fund (via email, mail or fax) a SIGNED letter requesting a divorce accommodation for direct payment to the ex-spouse. The request should include:
- Musician’s current address, phone number and last 4 digits of social security number or Fund account number, if known.
- A conformed copy of the court order of final judgment of dissolution.
- Ex-spouse’s name, current address, phone number and email address (if available).
- Upon receipt of these documents, an Ex-Spouse Confirmation Form will be sent to the ex-spouse. The ex-spouse must complete, sign, and return the form to the Fund as soon as possible to be set up to receive payments directly from the Fund.
- DEADLINES: The Musician’s written request for a divorce accommodation, including a conformed copy of the court order or final judgment of dissolution, MUST be received in the Fund office on or before May 1st in order to process the accommodation for the following July 1st distribution. [Note: If the Fund is unable to obtain a completed Ex-Spouse Confirmation Form in a timely manner, payment may be delayed].
- Once the accommodation is set up, both parties will receive separate distribution statements with their July 1st residual payment (if any). Neither party is entitled to see the other’s statement nor acquire any information about the amount(s) received by the other party, unless requested via subpoena.
- The Musician will be subject to tax withholdings and receive a W-2 (or comparable tax statement) for the tax year. The ex-spouse will receive a 1099 and will be responsible for his/her tax obligation.
- The court order or final judgment of dissolution MUST specifically name the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund as the entity distributing these payments. If another entity is named, the Fund will not be able to comply with the order until a correction is made.
- The court order should provide clear instructions regarding how the Fund should allocate the Musician’s annual check (gross amount) and the number of years for the accommodation, not to exceed ten years from the date of the court order or final judgment of dissolution.
- The percentage allocation may be specified in any manner (e.g., 50/50, 60/40, etc.). In addition, the percentage allocation may vary from year to year (e.g., 1st year 60/40, 2nd year 50/50, 3rd year 40/60, 4th year 30/70, etc.).
- The Fund cannot make any adjustments to the divorce accommodation allocation without an amended court order.
- The Fund’s divorce accommodation will cease upon the occurrence of any of the following events:
- Upon the final date of the divorce accommodation specified in the original court order or final judgment of dissolution, or ten years following the date of the court order or judgment of dissolution, whichever occurs first; or
- Upon the death of either the Musician or the death of the ex-spouse, whichever occurs first; or
- Upon an earlier date as provided in an amended court order terminating or shortening the length of the original arrangement.
- Once the Fund has processed one divorce accommodation for a Musician, no further divorce accommodations for that Musician can be provided.