If my mother was married to my father now retired army for 19+ years, is she entitled to a portion of his retirement pay?

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If my mother was married to my father now retired army for 19+ years, is she entitled to a portion of his retirement pay?

My Korean mother was married to my military father for almost 20 years. She has been receiving alimony and a portion of his disability until she turned 55 and he began receiving full disability. Isn’t she entitled to a portion of his retirement pay? What can I do to begin helping her receive compensation if she is entitled to it? My mother has also been employeed with the federal government as a seamstress for over 20 years. She does not receive vacation nor sick benefits as she is considered an ‘intermittent’ employee. Although the hours are on her paystub, why can she not take the time?

Asked on August 22, 2012 under Family Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are a good child to be wanting to help your Mother figure things out here but I think that you need some legal help.  Try legal aid or a law school clinic or a Pro Bono (free) program at a local Bar Association (for lawyers).  I think that by the way you wrote this question they have already gotten divorced and an agreement is in place.  Generally the answer is yes, your Mother is entitled to a portion of his retirement benefits and military pensions are calculated differently that civilian pensions.  So if there was an agreement already it may be that your Mother would have to seek to set it aside but with out knowing more it is hard to guide you here.  Get help.  Good luck.


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