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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37858
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Customer Question

I have a friend whose husband divorce her after 13 years of marriage and they were common law married for 15 years. He's retired from the military and also retired from a civilian company. During her divorce, she asked for half of her husband retirement and was told by her lawyer according to Alabama state laws that she was not entitle to half of his retirement. She could not get the house are anything else. My question to you what are Alabama laws regarding ex-spouse getting half of her ex husband military retirement, can she take this divorce situation to court if she was given erroneous information and if so, what is the statue of limitation?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

If I may ask, when did she obtain this divorce, how long ago?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
2009. I don't remember the month and date
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

In terms of obtaining half of the retirement, I am afraid the attorney is likely correct. If the other spouse worked or was in the service prior to marriage, he obtained his own benefits which would be separately calculated and would not be considered as something that the divorcing spouse would be entitled to. That, by itself, would create a situation where the spouse would not be entitled to half of the pension. Plus the laws that govern a military pension are actually based on federal law which in this instance would trump state law, and they have a specific formula they utilize under which each party would be entitled to a specific share of the asset. Finally, Alabama is not a "community property" state where assets are split 50/50--rather assets are split "fairly" and "equitably" but not necessarily equally. The statute of limitations against the attorney would be 2 years from the date the mistake took place and if not immediately discovered, 6 months from when it was reasonably discovered by the victim.

Good luck.

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