Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
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Was she married to you during the time in which any of the pension was earned?
She would be entitled to 50% of the pension benefits accumulated during the time you were married.
The problem is that the benefits don't actually get divided until there is a divorce or a death.
If the pension benefits were all yours then taking them out and keeping them in a separate account wouldn't convert them into community/marital property. However, since a portion of them are already marital/community property it raises an issue.
What I'd suggest you do is visit with a local family law attorney and have them draft a "post nuptial agreement" establishing exactly what amount is community property and what amount is not and having her sign off that she agrees with those figures and is not now or ever going to make a claim against any amount that is your separate property (and specify exactly what that amount is).
Then, when you get the funds put the separate property amount in a bank account with your name "as separate property" and don't ever add anything to that amount so it is clear nothing is co-mingled. You should even take the interest that it draws and have it go into a different account.
This is as much protection as it is possible to get under your facts and without going through a divorce or a formal lawsuit and hearing.