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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 111550
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My husband is a retired military and he filed in January

Customer Question

My husband is a retired military and he filed for divorce in January 2016. He has been fighting on giving me my portion of his military retirement from the beginning. In April 2016, he changed his retirement to the CRSC/CRDP and now states that he isn't required to give me any of his retirement. Can he change this marital asset in the middle of a divorce?
JA: OK. The Military Lawyer will need to help you with this. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Utah
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes. He filed and we have completed all of the financial declarations in March 2016 and we were waiting for mediation in May 2016 when he told me he made the change in April 2016.
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: I was told that we are going to have to go court to restore the original military retirement because he changed it in the middle of a divorce action
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Military Lawyer should know?
Customer: Only that he filed with the original military retirement then changed it in the middle of the divorce
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Military Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

I am afraid that I have some bad news regarding this matter. If he qualifies for his military disability pensions and has obtained them, even though he is now in the middle of the divorce, those disability pensions are not divisible in a divorce. This is a frequent issue, but the federal laws say those disability pensions are separate property not capable of marital division even in a long term marriage.

As compensation for that, the UT court CAN at its discretion grant you more of the other marital assets to try to offset your losses of your rights to his pension. A judge has discretion of changing the percentage of the remainder of the marital assets you receive to compensate you for the loss to his pension share because it is no longer divisible according to federal law.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The other marital assets were divided already. So can the courts change the division since he through this into the mix? Or are you saying that I am totally out of luck.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If the division has already occurred, you can go back to court and seek to have them reopen it to try to give you more of the assets and readjust the percentage if the assets are still there. If not, you could possibly be out of luck, yes. The other option is you could try to seek spousal support, because while you may not be able to actually get a share of the pensions, the law does not prohibit a court from considering that as part of his income to order him to pay spousal support from.

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