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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2012
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    Default Another divorce question? Going after spouses pension.

    I'm going through a divorce as many are and this is just so darn confusing! We owned a house that was actually in my husbands name, but, he let the house go into forclosure due to his alcoholism and domestic violence etc. We were married for 17 years so I feel like I should get something financially from this marriage. If it hadn't been for my husbands very abusive behavior I would have never ended this marriage at all. I have had to leave a somewhat decent job and take another that is much less paying and move in with my mother. Has anybody ever had to do this or any advice any advice at all??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2002
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    Harrisonburg, VA
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    Here in VA you are entitled to 1/2 of whatever was earned during the marriage. This was a big sticky point with my Ex. He didn't contribute, but the company he worked for did, and he said it wasn't worth anything but I knew better. Turned out, once we got the numbers he wasn't entitle to anything from me after I sold the house (in my name, etc). Judge told him he would have owed ME $$ if I had asked for it. I just wanted out...


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  3. #3
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    Jan. 15, 2013
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    Canada
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    Default

    I'm not sure what the laws are where you live, but here ex-spouses are entitled to half the pension (or whatever gets settled in court). The only way a spouse won't get a portion of the pension is if they legally waive their rights.

    Definitely look into it and see what you may be entitled to.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    I am sure it depends on state law.
    I understand that ex spouses are entitled to half of retirement funds, even if the other spouse is remarried.
    I am not sure (since I don't even know where the nearest Holiday Inn Express is) if there is a distinction between retirement accounts and social security, and I think the time frame is being married for 10+ years.

    Again, I am speaking of what I heard through the grapevine, not from experience.

    And I do have to say, in the heat of the moment, I see a lot of (COTH) women declining claims to retirement income, to keep house, truck, horse, what have you....of course to each her own, but in most cases women do not earn as much - especially if they are from a bygone era when wives stayed home and did the house and kid thing - as the men, leaving them out in the cold come retirement.

    Something to ask your lawyer about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009
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    NCC DE
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    2,300

    Default

    You need a lawyer if you don't already have one. He/she should be able to tell you about pensions, alimony, if your house has any value (just because it's in foreclosure doesn't mean there isn't any money in it). If you have a lawyer who isn't telling you these things may I suggest you get a new one.

    Edited to add that the half pension thing is usually only for the time of the marriage. In the state where I live I don't believe you are entitled to anything he earned prior to the marriage or after the marriage is dissolved. Of course consult with your lawyer for your state laws.


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
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    Default

    When I got divorced I got half of all the combined retirement. I had been a part-time worker while our daughter was young, so only worked full time (ie drawing a retirement) for 5 of the 10 years we were together. The lawyer combined the total number and then divided in half--on the premise that had we not decided jointly for me to work less for the sake of our daughter, I would have accrued more retirement on my own. It turned out to be a fairly hefty chunk of money!
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 1999
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA USA
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    6,034

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    Isn't a spouse entitled to some of the Social Security if the marriage lasted longer than X number of years? Which I know is certainly less than 17 years. Of course OP, not saying you're near retirement age, just wanted to throw this out there.

    I have no idea how that works. Do you get half of his and does that take away from what he'd otherwise get or not?

    Does he get half of yours, too? Or is it only the lesser earnings spouse gets it?

    Don't mean to hijack, sorry. Just bringing up that if you're looking at pensions don't forget about SS.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,065

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    The U. S. Supreme Court has upheld the award of 1/2 of a spouse's pension to the divorced spouse. Hire a shark of a divorce lawyer and let him/her do all the work for you. I've seen those sharks in court during "rule nasties" as the judges called divorce hearings. Those guys are tougher than criminal lawyers. Different states have different laws on division of marital property. But I don't know of any state which has a statute or appellate case law that would deny OP 1/2 of his pension.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
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    All 'round Canadia
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    17 years is a long time. Definitely get a lawyer familiar with your state's laws; in very general terms marital assets tend to be divided 50/50, as do marital debts (so if there's debt left over from the foreclosure action or from anything else, you might be responsible for half).
    Pension and other such benefits are generally also split, or the portion of them that would be a marital asset because it was accrued during the marriage.

    Alimony depends on state laws, length of marriage, and employment of the parties. Sounds like you work too, and he's an alcoholic - be careful, if you worked or made more than he did, you could end up paying him.
    Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia



  10. #10
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    Feb. 23, 2005
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    Spotsylvania, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    The U. S. Supreme Court has upheld the award of 1/2 of a spouse's pension to the divorced spouse. Hire a shark of a divorce lawyer and let him/her do all the work for you. I've seen those sharks in court during "rule nasties" as the judges called divorce hearings. Those guys are tougher than criminal lawyers. Different states have different laws on division of marital property. But I don't know of any state which has a statute or appellate case law that would deny OP 1/2 of his pension.
    This....please get a lawyer who will fight for you. The lawyer you don't want your DH to hire.
    Both my older daughter and Mr P's sister just wanted an amicable divorce. They both got screwed.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007
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    2,121

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    Make sure you get a lawyer who actually cares about you and not just his pockets. My SO's ex hired a lazy scumbag lawyer during their divorce ( ended up good for SO lol!) You know all that paperwork they draft up for you? (the bulk of your charges before you go to trials) yea, her lawyer just printed off the paperwork from the website you go to if you're going to go pro se, had her do the majority of the work filling it out and he just put his signature on it. She paid 10k+ for something she easily could of done herself.

    Then, she was so surprised when the judge rejected the ridiculously inflated numbers she used for my SO's income for child support. The tantrum she threw on the phone was pretty hilarious.

    ANYWAY

    Go for his retirement but just be ready for a huge battle over every single piece of marital property, funds and debt that you have. No matter how small or insignificant.

    Also not sure how it works for his plan specifically (is it a 401k or a employer sponsored pension?) but a lot of pension plans just put a lien on the amount of the judgment and pay it out when the holder is ready to collect. I know my SO has both a 401k and a pension from his employer. She got her half of the 401k rolled over into a new account for herself and cashed that out but she cannot collect her half of the pension until he is old enough to collect on it.

    So depending on the rules of his plan and how far away from retirement age he is, you might not see that money for a while.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    It can really vary, because depending on the type of pension, the length of the marriage, and other home or properties that need to be split, and state laws for divorce and joint marital properties, you may end up a different part of his pension than 50/50. A friend traded the title to the house, for her part of his military pension, and received the better deal. Sometimes a custody or property fight results in giving up some pension shares in return for better custody. You really need the best attorney you can find, and get someone local where the divorce will be filed, so you get the best deal possible.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
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    Default

    You don't have to agree to half the debts.

    When we sold our house, the divorce agreement said the any profit was split 60/40 me, and any loss was split 60/40 him, lol.

    I had a shark.
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 10, 2008
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    370

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gingerlynn View Post
    I'm going through a divorce as many are and this is just so darn confusing! We owned a house that was actually in my husbands name, but, he let the house go into forclosure due to his alcoholism and domestic violence etc. We were married for 17 years so I feel like I should get something financially from this marriage. If it hadn't been for my husbands very abusive behavior I would have never ended this marriage at all. I have had to leave a somewhat decent job and take another that is much less paying and move in with my mother. Has anybody ever had to do this or any advice any advice at all??
    Get thee an attorney and stop posting stuff like this on COTH. Anything you have out in the public sphere can be used against you. Since domestic violence was involved, you may qualify for Legal Aid. (also in regard to your other thread, you should probably not be getting involved with someone else with a divorce pending...it looks REALLY bad to the divorce judge and and its likely too soon emotionally)


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Location
    Horse Heaven
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    1,892

    Default

    As much as you can, delete the emotional components. Be businesslike and professional - it will take you much further. Take care of yourself by getting a GOOD lawyer. You deserve to get the best information. This will have huge ramifications on your future - possibly for decades.

    Act now, get the answers you need. There may be a lot more you need to be doing to get yourself in a good place.

    Sitting on your hands and wondering about things is no way to be getting on with your life. It may not be all rainbows and butterflies by going to an atty - but you will KNOW what the terrain looks like.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2005
    Posts
    119

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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmedHope View Post
    She got her half of the 401k rolled over into a new account for herself and cashed that out but she cannot collect her half of the pension until he is old enough to collect on it.

    So depending on the rules of his plan and how far away from retirement age he is, you might not see that money for a while.
    This is how it worked for my sister, her ex-hubby of 9 years has a sizeable pension coming his way but she won't get her share until he starts to collect. She is also only entitled to 1/2 of the amount that he accrued during their marriage, not the whole amount.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2013
    Posts
    343

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    It's not"going after" his pension, it's just getting what you're entitled to. Most states have clear laws about this. Don't be guilted into letting him keep it all!


    7 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2014
    Posts
    23

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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerlynn View Post
    I'm going through a divorce as many are and this is just so darn confusing! We owned a house that was actually in my husbands name, but, he let the house go into forclosure due to his alcoholism and domestic violence etc. We were married for 17 years so I feel like I should get something financially from this marriage. If it hadn't been for my husbands very abusive behavior I would have never ended this marriage at all. I have had to leave a somewhat decent job and take another that is much less paying and move in with my mother. Has anybody ever had to do this or any advice any advice at all??

    Well update....I was Gingerlynn, but, a move to a small apartment etc and I lost my password etc. Things made a huge change when my husband passed away this week. I will now get everything once I untangle the mess. I guess I will eventually be rewarded, but, what a sad sad thing to happen.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007
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    2,121

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    I'm sorry I know you were seperated but it was still a person you cared about (at least at one point) and gave a huge chunk of your life to. I can't imagine it being easy at all.
    Last edited by AffirmedHope; Sep. 8, 2014 at 07:55 PM. Reason: CANT imagine! Not can! I'm not a total ogre!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Packing my bags
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    Oh my, not exactly the update I expected to hear.

    Congratulations on your apartment though.

    Sending you jingles to resolve everything as quick as possible.
    Hang in there!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



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