Can I be forced to retire so that my ex-wife can begin to collect a portion of my retirement?

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Can I be forced to retire so that my ex-wife can begin to collect a portion of my retirement?

I have been divorced for several years now and am a 57 year old government employee. My ex-wife was awarded a portion of my CSRS retirement. Now my ex is taking me back to court in an attempt to force me to retire so that she can start getting her portion of my retirement. I am remarried and not ready to retire. Can she force me to retire?

Asked on June 7, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, she most certainly CANNOT force you to retire early, or indeed to do (or not do) any other form of economic activity. Slavery in this county--the right to make people work or tell them how they must work (including retire) was ended 150 years ago.

The only way she *might* have some rights against you in this regard be if in the divorce agreement, you voluntarily agreed to retire by a certain date so she could receive a portion of your retirement funds, or otherwise volunteered to give her a potion of your retirement by a certain date. If you voluntarily entered into an agreement in this regard, that may be enforceable. Otherwise, if you agreed to pay her a certain sum per year  or on (or starting a certain date), she can force you to pay that sum--but has no control over where or how you get the money.


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