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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 87082
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My husband and I are residents of Texas and have lived here

Resolved Question:

My husband and I are residents of Texas and have lived here all our lives. We have been married 27 years. My husband works for the Department of Criminal Justice Bureau of Prisons (government job). After 23 years, he will retire at the end of this year on Dec. 31, 2013. I know Texas is a community property state. How can I protect my rights to his retirement? I have heard of some stories where wives have been left out in the cold, and I don't want this happening to me. We are scheduled to meet this month with a financial consultant provided by his employer to sign paperwork, but I am not familiar with this and don't know where to turn for advise. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation.

How can I protect my rights to his retirement?

By taking proper steps. Allow me to explain.

CALCULATION
While Texas is a community property state, retirement is still shared. Ergo, you are entitled to HALF of his retirement for the time that you and he have been married.

Example:

He has been accruing pension for 30 years, and puts in $5 per year. So he would have $150 now.

You are married 27 years, and in that time, he has accrued $135. You get half of that, which is $67.5.

ADDING IT ON
If you should decide to divorce, one has to force the issue. If he does not agree to share the pension per the default rules (or whatever you agree upon), then you can ask the Court. It is common for parties to agree to 95% of the divorce, but then ask the Court to make a decision in regards XXXXX XXXXX 5% that cannot be agreed upon.

PROPER FILING
The number one issue that hurts ex-spouses is the improper filing of a QDRO. Allow me to explain.

The QDRO is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This order is normally filed with the decree of divorce and is signed by the Judge. The QDRO reflects specifically the splitting of the pension as reflected in your agreement that is incorporated into the divorce decree, or, the decision made by the Judge and incorporated into your divorce decree. The QDRO is sent to the party's employer who holds the pension.

At the time of distribution, half (or whatever the percentage that you are to get) is then sent to you.

Often, attorneys do not file a QDRO. There is just the divorce decree. However, the company overseeing the pension needs a QDRO to split your part off. That is when the parties run into an issue, as they scramble and to go back to Court.

Ergo, if you get a divorce, make sure that your attorney drafts and filed a QDRO, gets it signed by the Judge, and sends it off to the Department of Criminal Justice Bureau of Prisons' HR department so that your share would be taken out at the proper time.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Should a lawyer to file a QDRO even if I decide not to divorce?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend,

If you decide not to divorce, then there is no need to file a QDRO. However, should something happen to your husband (worst case scenario), you would have to file probate to get the payout from the pension, which is not hard to do.

Provided you are still married when he receives his retirement, then there is no law that forces him to give you any money. However, if you divorce later, anything left from retirement is STILL subject to division and you'd get half.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 87082
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 9 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your gratuity.

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