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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101551
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Aloha, I needed to ask you another question-regarding divorce--My

Customer Question

Aloha,
I needed to ask you another question-regarding divorce--My wife and I are separated now-since Jan. 1st,2012-we have been married 4 yrs. in feb.-she has 1 son which I am the stepdad-his dad is in Taiwan. She is making about $1500/month for house sitting and taking care of a child--I take home twice that or little more. What I want to know is if I have retirement accounts-tsp at work since 2009, roth ira rollover ira and old 401k-all of those i had before her-can she get any of that money?? I have her and her son covered under my health plan-she threatens that I will have to pay that for her and she could get some of my retirement money-does that sound right? Thank you very much. Stan
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 5 years ago.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes i am still waiting for an answer. Thank you
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 5 years ago.
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.

The answer is yes. Vested accounts such as a the IRA are marital property and are subject to division. She is liable to get half of the amount that accrued during the course of the marriage. If she requests this and the Court obliges.

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101551
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is she only able to get half of what has accrued since we were married like my tsp in 2009 or can she get my accounts that I had before we became married-the roth ira and 401K and met life--and doesn't it matter how long we were married??
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Accrued or vested retirement benefits are community property. This means they need to be divided in a divorce - but only the part that accrued during marriage. Retirement benefits that fall under community property include military pensions, veteran's educational benefits, ERISA funds, IRAs, Keoghs, Employee Stock Option Plans (ESOPS), 401K and 403K plans, etc. Certain retirement benefits are not classified as community property. They include: Social Security payments, Compensation for military injuries, and Worker's compensation disability awards.

Yes and no. Again, if it is a vested account, then she can get into it even if it was established before marriage, but her interest is equal to roughly half of that which accrued during the marriage, only.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello Ely,
Thank you for your answer-it helps me. I really have another really important question to ask you--if she has credit card debit and I do to--does that get evenly divided also?
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

You are very welcome. Credit card debt - this depends. There is no clear division here, and the Court would divide equally (or not at all, or unequally) based on who the credit was used for (single individual or the marriage) and who is on the account (one spouse of both of you). In general, it gets divided roughly the same.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks Ely. Do you think it is worth the money and time to get some paper saying we are seperated since such and such day to protect myself or should I just try an work on divorce details? What is your advice?

Thanks again for all your help. Stan
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Informal agreements at separation hold no legal water. So if you seek to be formally separated or divorced, it should be done via Court.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks again Ely for your time. Aloha, Stan
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
My pleasure, Stan!