Can my ex-spouse decline retirement benefits by signing and notarizing a statement saying he does not want a share of my retirement?

My ex-spouse said he does not have a problem signing something declining any rights to my retirement benefits. We were married for 2 1/2 years 33 years ago. If he signs a paper declining any rights to my retirement and have it notarized, will that be enough?

Asked on September 19, 2011 under Family Law, Louisiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I would definitely have him waive his rights to the retirement benefits but I would not write the statement yourself.  The document that he signs should have full disclosure of the benefits and the amount that accrued during the time of your marriage and the law that pertains to his right to share in retirement benefits as marital property.  Given the time frame of your marriage that long ago he probably would not have been entitled to much.  But that needs to be spelled out for him and he needs to take it to an attorney to review.  He would not get anything in a trial I am sure.  But he could upset the apple cart if he wants to make a stink.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.