How long do you have to be married beforeyour pension can be touched in a divorce?

I have been married for 9 years but had my pension for 22 years.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Family Law, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you live in a community property state such as CA, your spouse would have a one half interest in your pension for the entire time you were married and were earning income which is represented by that pension. 

Community property is property acquired during marriage which includes income during marriage.  Separate property is property acquired before marriage or after the marriage ends which includes income before marriage or after the marriage ends.  Your spouse has no claim to your separate property.

The portion of your pension which reflects the nine years of your earnings during marriage would be community property and your spouse would have a one half interest in that portion of your pension.

The portion of your pension which represents the thirteen years  of earnings when you were not married is your separate property and your spouse has no claim to that separate property portion of your pension.

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