If my divorce will probably be final after my husband retires, will I still be eligible for part of his pension?

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If my divorce will probably be final after my husband retires, will I still be eligible for part of his pension?

My husband and I agreed on a divorce. We did a divorce agreement stipulation; I signed but he has not as of yet. Now suddenly he has decided to retire. In our stipulation agreement it saids I will get half of the time I was married to him. Will I still be eligible for part of his pension?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A property settlement agreement between parties is a contract.  It is then incorporated in to a divorce decree by a Judge.  The parties to the contract have the right to enforce it under the laws in their state. Here the issue is that you and your husband have negotiated the agreement as to the division of your marital assets, but he has yet to sign the contract.  The courts prefer that the parties negotiate the issue of property division but they will decide the matter should your husband back out and you go to trial on the issue.  And in New York a pension acquired during a marriage is considered to be marital property for equitable - not equal - distribution. Here he gave you equal - 50%. But if he backs out a court could determine otherwise based upon a lot of other factors about your marriage unknown here: length of marriage, other assets, etc.  Good luck.    


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