How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33761
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
19958803
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was married in California and lasted married 3 1/2 years.

Customer Question

My name is***** was married in California and lasted married 3 1/2 years. We had 2 children (now adults). We separated (not legally) and never got divorced. Although he contributed to the maintenance of the children, he never made any for myself, since I worked. I've been retired for 8 1/2 years. He's retired too. I have pension benefits plus other source of income. As far as I know, his only source of income is Social Security benefits. Our relationship through the years has been amicably and his relationship with the children has been close. We have been informally separated for over 50 years. If anything happens to me, is he in-titled to any of my pension benefits ? My pension provider says no, not anymore. He's aware of all my source of income, but he has never asked/plans to ask for anything so far. Advice is needed
Thank you
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

If anything happens to me, is he in-titled to any of my pension benefits ?

.

If you are still legally married, then the amount of time you have lived apart wouldn't somehow divorce you due to the passage of time. So if this is an employer sponsored pension plan like a 401k, this is governed under a federal law called ERISA that states that the surviving spouse is the automatic beneficiary of the plan by law unless they actually sign a written waiver and disclaimer of interest in the plan.

.

So the pension provider is mistaken here because federal law trumps all when it comes to company sponsored pension plans.

.

If you want to leave the pension to someone else, you need to get a written waiver from the plan administrator and then have your husband sign it and then return it to the plan administrator.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Family Law Questions