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originallawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 840
Experience:  9+ years of experience in divorce, custody battles and mediation.
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Have been married 6 years. my wife has been married 3 times

Customer Question

have been married 6 years. my wife has been married 3 times in the past .i have retirement finds that i have earned during the years that i worked she did not work or contribute to these funds. if we divorce (which i do not want ) nNonetheless I am dependent on these funds for my existence. She is capable of working but has made no real effort to do so is she entitled to have these funds?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  originallawyer replied 9 months ago.


The general rule in most states is that any income or retirement income that is earned DURING THE MARRIAGE is subject to division between the parties, regardless of ability of either party to earn. Think of it this way: when you get married, any assets, income you make or she makes, retirement, etc all goes in to a communal pot and belongs to both of you.

Now, that's the general rule. However, Judges do have discretion when dividing up property. So let's say hypothetically, you had the following property and income that you earned during the marriage: a house (bought during the marriage), retirement plan that you put 4k into during the marriage, and two cars. The Judge could divide that in any number of ways. It wouldn't have to be split down the middle. He could award you your retirement plan and give your wife the equity in the home, for instance.

Unless you and your wife signed a prenuptial agreement OR a post nuptial agreement stating that she would not have any rights to your retirement money, in the event of a divorce, she could ask the Judge to award her some of that money. This is true whether or not she's capable of working or not.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
not adequate I'm asking about the retirement account that was created BEFORE the marriage?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She in no way contributed to that account
Expert:  originallawyer replied 9 months ago.

Ah, okay, if you earned it before the marriage, she doesn't get any of that. That is considered your separate property.

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