Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear about your situation, it sounds frustrating. In order to provide you with the most thorough information, it would be helpful to know how you know that the agreement was to list you as a beneficiary if it was not in the agreement. For example, were you discussing it? Was it left out of the paperwork intentionally or by mistake? Was there a lot of discussion about who would be the beneficiary for his pension? It would be helpful to understand a little more about the background of the situation.
He never did discussed the issue with me therefore I have to believe that it was intentional
are you there?
I am here. You mean he never discussed whether you would be the beneficiary?
He never discussed it with me and since he is deceased there no way to follow up
I am sorry for your loss. I do not mean to be so glib; however, I have some confusion. If it was never discussed, what is the basis upon which you would assume you would be the beneficiary after divorce?
Because the union allows a spouse to receive the pension after the death of the member.If my memory serves me, a law was passed that allows a wife to collect the pension even after a divorce because it was a long term marriage
I understand the union is in New York, is that where you were divorced?
no I was divorced in Florida
Does the divorce decree mention the pension at all?
Ok, I will be back in a second, I want to research an issue.
Were you ever listed as the beneficiary on the plan?
I think so before the divorce
You have a couple of options, you can try to make a claim and see what happens. Your second option is to make a motion to the court to have the divorce decree modified to include the pension explaining the confusion to the court. The second option is probably the better way to start because the reality is that if you were not listed as the beneficiary of the plan, you will face greater opposition from the union without a valid court order explaining that you are the legal beneficiary of the pension.
Did your ex remarry? Is there anyone else who would claim an entitlement to the pension?
How do I go about making a motion to the court
he did remarry to someone in georgia
This makes matter more complicated. If he remarried, then she may claim an entitlement to the pension. If he remarried and the divorce decree did not make mention of this matter and it was not discussed during the divorce, then it is doubtful that this will be perceived as a minor error the court will amend by way of modifying the divorce decree. It may be advisable to take a copy of your decree and any information you have about the pension to a local attorney for review. It may turn out that your best route may be to file a claim, see if the other spouse files one and then settle the matter through litigation with the pension and any other persons claiming an entitlement to the pension.