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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35390
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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I was divorced end of 2011 and my ex got 30% of my teachers

Customer Question

I was divorced end of 2011 and my ex got 30% of my teachers retirement of the amount I made during time we were married. I did not know that I could limit the amount he received as in 30% but not more than $300 a month. Can this be changed?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
While you could have reached a stipulation with your ex, if he was agreeable to accept 30% or $300 per month, whichever is lowest, and that would have been acceptable to the pension plan, he was under no legal obligation to agree to that and simply could have said no, "I want the 30% allowed under the law based on the years of marriage that you were earning the retirement pension". The law allows him the flat percentage. Only his agreement to place a limit on that amount would have been approved by the judge. Any objection from him would have prevented you from imposing such a limitation.
And while yes, you could technically revisit this issue, it would still require the consent of your ex for the court to amend the property settlement award to provide for the language you would like to see there. I am sorry.
I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.
If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.
Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.
Thank you,
Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
30% is not required. It was mediated at that percent. But, I have been in touch with Teacher's Retirement System of Texas and they have informed me that it was possible to stipulate a limited amount. My lawyer did not advise me of this and, in fact, she and the mediator came unglued when I suggested a dollar amount per month. TRS has actually revised their QDRO to reflect the ability to limit the amount. Check the site if you like.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,
Alright, it wasn't mandated by the court but instead was based on an agreement between the two of you and became part of your division of marital assets. I have no need to check the site. The problem here for you is that while TRS may "allow" a TRO to set out a limitation, that has nothing to do with what you are able to do now, after the fact, when the agreement is already written in stone, so to speak.
As for what the TRS told you, I agree---anything can be stipulated to. And if allowed by the plan, you could limit the payment to a dollar limit as well----but that applies to new, negotiated agreements.
However, you already stipulated to an agreed amount, put no limitation on it and unless your ex now agrees to change that way of determining his share, then you are without a legal remedy.
The court does not have the power to force a modification of your settlement "contract" with your ex from the divorce.
The straightforward answer to your question, "Can this be changed?" is no, it cannot be changed now---at least not without the full cooperation and consent of your ex; which I presume will not occur.
I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.
If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.
Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.
Thank you,
Doug

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