Can my husband keep me from receiving any parts of his pension in the divorce? 17 Answers as of January 20, 2013

Husband worked for the union coalmines in 1984. We got married in 1988 and has me listed as his spouse on his pension plan. Husband is saying I don't deserve part of his pension because we married after he had worked for the union in the coal mines. Married for 24 yrs and he has me listed on his pension plan as his spouse.

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
So? You were not married at the time. It is his separate property. The fact he listed you as a spouse to receive death benefits, or even to have a survivor benefit is irrelevant.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/20/2013
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
You are entitled to one-half of what ever he earned while he was married to you. If he earned it before the marriage, you are not so entitled. Sorry. I strongly suggest you see a family law attorney in your county for some help.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2013
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You need to consult with an attorney. In Florida, any marital asset acquired during the marriage is subject to division between the parties in the event of divorce. That would include the portion of the pension earned during the marriage.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/20/2013
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
If any of the pension was earned during the marriage then it has a community interest to be divided. You should consult a family law attorney to review all of the facts and advise you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/20/2013
Law Office of Beth Jackson Day | Beth Jackson Day
You're entitled to a share of the pension he earned while you were married.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 1/20/2013
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    In California, whatever is earned between the date of marriage and date of separation, shall be divided equally between the spouses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/20/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You need a divorce lawyer. No, your husband does not get to just cut you out, that is not what the law says. But you have to fight for your rights.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/20/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Well what you deserve and what you are entitled too are two separate things. I am just a little confused, was 1984 the year he began working for the coal mine, and has he continued to do so up until the present, or has he retired recently, and is now receiving his benefits? I am going to guess that he began in 84, and you folks married in 88, and he is still employed by the same union, and or has just recently retired. In the majority of jurisdictions you would be entitled to at least 50% of the marital portion of his pension, so lets say he has not retired as of yet and is still working in the same union. You would be entitled to 50% of his pension value as of the date of marriage in 1988, until the date the divorce is heard on the merits, sometime in 2013, at that point the pension will be divided using the dates of from and too, by a QDRO, the QDRO must be prepared in most cases by your side, sent to the plan administrator, for approval, all pension divisions and QDROs are governed by federal law, i.e. ERISA ACT. Once the plan administrator OK's the QDRO format, they will inform your attorney, at that point The QDRO is presented to the court for the Judges signature and then entered as an order of the court, at that point your attorney gets a certified copy of the QDRO and forwards it to the plan administrator, and at that point the pension account is divided, when you take is subject to the pension rules your attorney can inform you of that, QDROs are very complicated documents but must be prepared if you wish to receive your share of the pension, I have heard horror stories over the years about people who handled their own divorce matters, with many areas being screwed up only to be found out years later, and QDROs are one big area of mistake, people will say the judge ordered it , I get 1/2 of his pension I heard the Judge I was there, now I find out he retired 10 years ago and was receiving his whole pension, he passed away last year and that's when I found this out, and the pension people say there is nothing they can do now, is this true and can I sue them because I heard what the Judge said, you'r answer is, NO! No QDRO no order, and no notice, no order, no pension, and now since he passed nothing can be done!!!!! So make sure you do it right the first time.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 1/18/2013
    Rivera Legal Group, PLLC
    Rivera Legal Group, PLLC | Victor Rivera
    Your husband cannot stop you for getting a percentage of his pension. The first four years he participated in the program will be considered his separate property if he can prove when he began participating. However, beginning in 1988 when you got married, the pension became community property that will be split in the divorce. Make sure you hire an attorney that understands the formulas behind dividing a pension.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Generally speaking, each party is entitled to an equitable share of any assets that were accumulated during the marriage. If he only worked for the union prior to your marriage, then you would not be entitled to any part of the pension. If he worked for the union during the marriage, then you are entitled to some share of the pension. I recommend you consult with an attorney to discuss this matter in greater detail.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    Under the facts you describe, assuming he stopped working in the mines prior to your marriage, you are not entitled to a share in his pension under equitable distribution.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    No. You are entitled essentially to half of what was awarded during the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    In California, the pension would be divided depending on how long a period of time the two of you were married versus how long he was earning the pension. ex. 4 years without being married, 24 yrs married while earning the pension for a total time of 28 years. 4 of 28 is 1/7th so the pension would be 1/7th all his and the other 6/7 would be divided evenly (assuming everything else was equal). You should definitely consult with a family law attorney such as myself in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    Law Offices of Pamela R. Lawson | Pamela R. Lawson, Esq.
    I am not surprised that your husband is saying you don't deserve any of his pension plan funds; most men "hate" giving any part of what they consider their retirement monies to a spouse. With that being said, you are entitled to one half of the funds accumulated/earned for the period of time you were married to him. If he, for example, working for 30 years in the coal mines, you would be entitled to one half of the amount put into the pension plan either by him or his employer during the 24 years you were married to him. You do not say how long he worked for the union coalmines, if he did not work there at all after you were married, then you would not be entitled to any part of the pension monies he had before marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    All assets and debts must be divided so you have the right to your share of the property. However, if you owe him for debts or other credits or reimbursements he might have, he can offset it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2013
    LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
    If you are in California, you should receive 1/2 of the pension based on the time you were married. Do not agree to anything less. If he won't agree, hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/17/2013
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