If my divorce was finalizedwithout my knowledge, can I request a modification regarding my rights to my ex-husband’s military pension?

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If my divorce was finalizedwithout my knowledge, can I request a modification regarding my rights to my ex-husband’s military pension?

In 2009 I received divorce papers from my then husband. I responded with a letter to the court requesting time to put money together to get legal advise. He recently told me we were divorced in 11/09 but I did not receive any notification of hearing or documentation of final decision. He is retired military and I was entitled to a portion of his pension but instead got nothing, not even child support. Can a modification be requested since apparently it has been a year since the divorce?

Asked on December 1, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Get legal help on this as soon as you can.  He was granted a divorce "on default" meaning that you did not put any papers in.  In reality when that happens the court generally only decides the issue of divorce and NOT any issues regarding the distribution of marital property.  That is actually a good thing for you.  So now you need to bring an action for modification of the decree and for distribution of the assets and for child support and maintenance.  This is not going to be the easiest task and it will re-open may issues here.  But it needs to be done now.  Go and seek help from legal aid or from any pro bono organization through local bar associations or law school clinics.  Good luck.


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