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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Do I have any legal recourse to get some of my pension bac

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Do I have any legal recourse to get some of my pension back?
Helllo and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

I need some more information before I can provide you with a thorough and complete answer.

Can you tell me how you are being deprived of your pension benefits?

Were you receiving pension benefits for awhile and did they stop?

Or have you yet to receive benefits for some reason?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do get my share of pension benefits from my 26 years as a firefighter. The divorce granted her 60% 0f my pension amount. She gets about$1100/mo. I get $1750.

I read through your question to the expert in Family Law and now know the basis of your inquiry and provide you with a complete and thorough answer.

Unfortunately, if you earned all of your pension from CalPers while you were married, your wife is entitled to half of your pension since California is a community property state, meaning all assets (including pensions) earned during the course of the marriage are divided equally at divorce.

However, if you worked for some years prior to or after your marriage, those years that went into your pension are yours alone, so your wife should then only be receiving less than half of your pension. For instance if you worked for 10 years while single and/or divorced and 10 years while married, only half or your pension would be subject to community property division, which would mean you should be getting 75% of your benefits.

Other then that, despite your economic circumstances relative to hers, there is nothing legally you can do to get more of your pension back. You would have to get her to waive receiving a portion of your pension or get her to agree to another arrangement if you want to recoup more of your pension amount.

I realize that the above information is not what you wanted to hear, and I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you (as I think this is a very unfair law, especially in situations like yours), but I hope you appreciate an honest and direct answer. It would be unprofessional or me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less than my honest assessment of your legal situation.

Since my goal is to provide you with the best service today, please don't hesitate to ask me any follow up questions.

If you don't have any, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!

Can you tell me how long you were married for those 26 years?

(On a side note, having been named after a Chicago firefighter (and actor, who was featured in backdraft), I greatly appreciate your service and think you deserve a much larger pension for your years of dedicated service to the public).
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