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Does UA allow miles from one account to be divided up 50/50 under divorce settlement?

Does UA allow miles from one account to be divided up 50/50 under divorce settlement?

 
Old Jan 7, 06, 2:25 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Programs: UAL 1K MM, AA Lifetime Gold
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The real questions are:

1. Can you get a judge to issue an order to UAL to split the miles?

2. If you got the order, would UAL spend the money required to contest or just take the easy way out?

UAL T&C's are there to try and avoid the problem by scaring people off and to provide a first line of legal defense if required.

You'll never know the answers until you spend the money to try. But it might be cheaper and easier to just to come to a joint valuation (if you never want to talk to her again) or an side-agreement that you will sponser x-miles worth of travel for her (for a "friendly" divorce).
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:30 pm
  #17  
 
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I believe that upon death only a spouse may make a claim if it's in the will!!
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:37 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Sneezy
I was commenting on the "otherwise by operation of law" clause.

I don't see how that could hold up as a blanket restriction.
To clarify further... Saying that accrued mileage and certs are not transferable under the circumstances specified or "otherwise by operation of law," is not the same as saying "notwithstanding what the law may dictate" or something like that. It is not a denial of any governing law, it is a contractual provision making non-transferability explicit, thereby avoiding the application of rules that otherwise might fill in gaps, as when people die intestate, and control the disposition of property.

It might be hard to come up with a "fair" value for miles, but a value will be set on them if necessary in a divorce case. Then one spouse will keep the miles, the other will take away more cash, and life will go on.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:42 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by bigricky4
I believe that upon death only a spouse may make a claim if it's in the will!!
In the one case I know about, the decedent was divorced at the time of death and US transferred what was in his Dividen Miles account to his son, who was named in the will as the beneficiary. I don't know what UA does, but it would be surprising to me if they only transferred to a surviving spouse.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:43 pm
  #20  
nnn
 
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Originally Posted by Sneezy
I was commenting on the "otherwise by operation of law" clause.

I don't see how that could hold up as a blanket restriction.
Right. The law can always trump the contract. Not the other way around.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:52 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by tannebil
The real questions are:

1. Can you get a judge to issue an order to UAL to split the miles?

2. If you got the order, would UAL spend the money required to contest or just take the easy way out?

UAL T&C's are there to try and avoid the problem by scaring people off and to provide a first line of legal defense if required.

You'll never know the answers until you spend the money to try. But it might be cheaper and easier to just to come to a joint valuation (if you never want to talk to her again) or an side-agreement that you will sponser x-miles worth of travel for her (for a "friendly" divorce).
Howard Dean is a native-born citizen of the United States and he could pursue the presidency again in 2008. It is unlikely that he will do so, though, and were he to do so, I would bet against him, since he would be so unlikely to succeed.

One might find some fool judge to issue an order directing UAL to divide the miles between the divorcing spouses and UAL might chose not to resist, but it is so unlikely to play out that way that I think one would be very foolish to go that route.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:55 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by tannebil
The real questions are:

1. Can you get a judge to issue an order to UAL to split the miles?

2. If you got the order, would UAL spend the money required to contest or just take the easy way out?

UAL T&C's are there to try and avoid the problem by scaring people off and to provide a first line of legal defense if required.

You'll never know the answers until you spend the money to try. But it might be cheaper and easier to just to come to a joint valuation (if you never want to talk to her again) or an side-agreement that you will sponser x-miles worth of travel for her (for a "friendly" divorce).
You forgot
#3: Does she also get half the SWUs, CR1s and 500-milers in the account as of date of separation? Can she transfer her half to anyone she sees fit, e.g., if she has access to Coupon Connection?
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:03 pm
  #23  
nnn
 
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Originally Posted by itsme
One might find some fool judge to issue an order directing UAL to divide the miles between the divorcing spouses and UAL might chose not to resist, but it is so unlikely to play out that way that I think one would be very foolish to go that route.
Are you a divorce lawyer, or is this mere speculation?
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:07 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by nnn
Right. The law can always trump the contract. Not the other way around.
Wrong, I think. A contract will be enforced/respected according to its terms absent rare circumstances, e.g., lack of consideration, fraud in the inducement, adhesion, a racially restrictive covenant, etc., none of which pertain here.

Black's defines "operation of law" thusly: This term expresses the manner in which rights, and sometimes liabilities, devolve upon a person by the mere application to the particular transaction of the established rules of law, without the act or co-operation of the party himself.

UAL and the MP member agreed to the "rules" concerning miles and the member's account. A court will not rewrite that contract to be "fair" to the member's divorcing spouse, granting him/her a portion of the accrued miles rather than an award of money for their share of the miles. No "operation of law" in sight here.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:15 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by nnn
Are you a divorce lawyer, or is this mere speculation?
I'm not a divorce lawyer, but my opinion is informed by a legal education, and thus more than "mere speculation." And I think I understand basic principles of contract law and the meaning of "operation of law" in this context.

If you know that someone is going to go this route, that is try to get a court to force UAL to divide miles between two people who are divorcing, then let me know so we can wager on the outcome. I will bet a substantial sum against them, giving very attractive odds to anyone who expects them to succeed.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:29 pm
  #26  
nnn
 
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Originally Posted by itsme
If you know that someone is going to go this route, that is try to get a court to force UAL to divide miles between two people who are divorcing, then let me know so we can wager on the outcome. I will bet a substantial sum against them, giving very attractive odds to anyone who expects them to succeed.
You might be right. The odds of a judge splitting the miles might be small. I have no idea, but I wouldn't bet against you.

My point was that I think it's a stretch to call any judge who would split the miles a "fool" and the possibility that a judge would split the miles "so unlikely" when state law could clearly allow such a division.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:36 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by nnn
You might be right. The odds of a judge splitting the miles might be small. I have no idea, but I wouldn't bet against you.

My point was that I think it's a stretch to call any judge who would split the miles a "fool" and the possibility that a judge would split the miles "so unlikely" when state law could clearly allow such a division.
I am pretty sure that I have read a decision in Alaska dividing up AS miles like any other property. If I can find the document I will link to it.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:45 pm
  #28  
nnn
 
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Originally Posted by itsme
Wrong, I think. A contract will be enforced/respected according to its terms absent rare circumstances, e.g., lack of consideration, fraud in the inducement, adhesion, a racially restrictive covenant, etc., none of which pertain here.

Black's defines "operation of law" thusly: This term expresses the manner in which rights, and sometimes liabilities, devolve upon a person by the mere application to the particular transaction of the established rules of law, without the act or co-operation of the party himself.

UAL and the MP member agreed to the "rules" concerning miles and the member's account. A court will not rewrite that contract to be "fair" to the member's divorcing spouse, granting him/her a portion of the accrued miles rather than an award of money for their share of the miles. No "operation of law" in sight here.
The reason contracts are enforceable is that the law says they are. Thus, it is the law that ultimately controls our rights, not contracts.

The law can also make contracts unenforceable. You have proven that by listing several examples of contracts the law does not enforce. The reason those contracts are not enforced is basically that judges have decided over the years not to enforce them. The courts may freely change or reinterpret contract law (unless statutes such as the U.C.C. are involved).

The bottom line is that United cannot enforce a clause that says "this contract is not subject to the law." Every contract is subject to the law. Your argument that "courts enforce almost all contracts" does not prove that this particular contract clause is almost certainly enforceable.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 3:54 pm
  #29  
cur
 
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Originally Posted by barefootflying
Does UA allow miles from one account to be
divided up 50/50 under divorce settlement?

A business partner is currently going through
a divorce. The couple pretty much agree to
split EVERYTHING equally, 50/50. The divorce
is nearly final, except for the 950,000 miles in
a UA MileagePlus account.

If UA does not allow for the 950,000 miles to
be divided in half, is there a way to establish
a fair dolloar value for half of those miles?
Your option is to transfer half the miles and bear the cost. But I think theres a limit on how many you can transfer in a year.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 5:39 pm
  #30  
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gleff has an entry in his blog about this.

The writer encourages going after miles and points in a divorce.

While a few thousand frequent flyer miles may not be worth pursuing, millions of miles and millions of credit card and hotel "usage points" probably are.


Frequent flyer miles and credit card points should be valued with relative ease because each program tells you exactly what you can expect to receive if you use a specific number of miles or points.

The problem for the divorce lawyer, of course, is that the miles aren't transferable. The IRS says that they don't have value. And certainly the airlines are unlikely to be accomodating.

Case closed, right?

Wrong. While a divorce lawyer is unlikely to be successful in actually securing a transfer of miles from one account to another, so miles are probably safe in a divorce, they might well demonstrate that the assets have value. Since they're non-transferable, a divorce attorney might be able to secure additional other property in lieu of the miles and points.

At the very least it's one more tool to get nasty in this type of proceeding.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Jan 7, 06 at 6:49 pm
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