20 CFR 295.5 - Limitations.
(a) Employee benefit entitlement. Payments will be made to a spouse or former spouse under this part only if the employee has been awarded an annuity under the Railroad Retirement Act. Payments to a spouse or former spouse shall be made only for months and from such amounts with respect to which an annuity is payable to the employee, and, except as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section, shall be suspended or terminated for any month in which the annuity of the employee is suspended or terminated. No arrearage accrues to the spouse or former spouse with respect to any month for which the annuity of the employee is suspended or reduced as required under the Act.
(b) Minimum amount. The amount of payment to a spouse or former spouse may not be less than one dollar per month.
(c) Prospective payment. Payment to a spouse or former spouse may accrue no earlier than the later of the date of delivery, pursuant to § 295.3 of this part, of a court decree or property settlement which will be honored under this part, or from October 1, 1983. The amount to be paid the spouse or former spouse under this part will not be increased to satisfy an arrearage due from the employee.
(d) Payees. Payment of an amount awarded to a spouse or former spouse by a court decree or property settlement will be made only to the spouse or former spouse except where the Board determines that another person shall be recognized to act on behalf of the spouse or former spouse as provided by part 266 of this chapter, relating to incompetence. Payment will not be made to the heirs, legatees, creditors or assignees of a spouse or former spouse, except that where an amount is payable to a spouse or former spouse pursuant to this part, but is unpaid at the death of that spouse or former spouse, the unpaid amount may be paid in accordance with § 234.1 of this chapter, pertaining to employee annuities unpaid at death.
(e) Net amount of benefits. Notwithstanding the terms of the decree or property settlement, the amount of benefits payable to the employee which are subject to this part shall not include:
(1) Amounts deducted to satisfy a debt due the United States, including any amount withheld to recover erroneous payments under the Railroad Retirement Act, Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, or any other acts administered by the Board; and
(2) Benefits which are waived pursuant to § 243.6 of this chapter.
(f) Termination. Except as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section payments to a spouse or former spouse terminate on the earlier of -
(1) The date on which the employee annuity terminates;
(2) The date required by the court decree or property settlement or the law of the jurisdiction in which the court decree or property settlement was entered; or
(3) The last day of the month before the month in which the spouse or former spouse dies.
(4) If the employee dies on or after August 17, 2007, a former spouse who is receiving a portion of the employee's annuity pursuant to a court decree or property settlement compliant with this part may continue to receive a portion of the employee's tier II benefit component unless the court decree or property settlement requires such payment to terminate upon the death of the employee.
(g) Priority. In the event that the General Counsel receives more than one decree or property settlement from competing parties, benefits shall be available to satisfy the decrees or property settlements on a first come, first served basis governed by the date of receipt by the General Counsel. Conflicting decrees or property settlements received on the same day shall be accorded priority based upon the earliest date upon which the decree or property settlement became final.