Can I collect my portion of my ex’s retirement even if he is still working when I turn 59.5?

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Can I collect my portion of my ex’s retirement even if he is still working when I turn 59.5?

My divorce settlement states I get 50% of my ex’s retirement up to 25 years. He said he will never retire so that I can never collect.

Asked on August 16, 2010 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This was not an amicable divorce, correct?  Was there a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) entered? Although you have restated the portion of your divorce settlement that applies here it really needs to be read by an attorney in order to give you an idea of how you are to proceed.  If he refuses to retire then you get 50% of nothing it seems.  But all is not lost. Generally a QDRO can not force early retirement BUT it can seize benefit to which the obligor is entitled and pay out at the time - or age - that the retiree could have retired.  The QDRO goes to the plan administrator and is governed by Federal Statute as against privately sponsored retirement plans (i.e., not the government or Church sponsored plans).  Seek legal help here.  Good luck.


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