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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37850
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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I plan to retire at 65 in 5 years. How can I shield my funds

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I plan to retire at 65 in 5 years. How can I shield my funds from my ex spouse. Can I spend it now and take the tax hit?

Good afternoon Ken,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. I'm unsure what you mean when you say you want to shield your retirement funds from your ex? Are you divorced yet, or still married?
2. If divorced, what makes you think that you have to share what you have with your spouse?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was married 4/1977 and divorced 6/93 with years of separation in which was in the state prison system.

She states that in California if married for ten years she gets half. In the divorce I received physical custody of the kids and she was ordered to leave the apartment.

Hi Ken,

1. Are you referring to your social security benefits that you will be eligible when you retire?

2. Or are you talking about a pension plan that you have from an employer?

3. Did the court order in the divorce that she get part of your retirement benefits?

I am confused because being married 10 years entitles one to spousal support---but not to their pension. In CA every spouse is entitled to half of the other's pension that was accumulated during the marriage.

However, social security has e 10 year rule concerning the ex spouse getting an ex-spouse benefit.

Which scenario are you referring to?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have an employer pension plan and it was not listed in the divorce decree.

I will get SS when I retire.


She is presently getting SS because of health reasons.


Will my SS be lowered.


So from your response she can ask only for half of the amount I had at the time of the divorce.



Good evening Ken,

She can seek to recover 50% of the amount of money that was placed into the retirement plan ONLY during the years of your marriage, plus any increase in value on her share purely due to market forces. All the remainder---all that you put in both before and after marriage, and half of what you put in during marriage, as well as the increase in value due to those things, are yours and yours alone.

As for social security retirement benefits, if you were married at least 10 years to her, when she is eligible for retirement, she will get the greater of her retirement benefit, or 50% of the benefit that you will be entitled to.

Under no circumstance does her claim for an ex-spouse benefit in any way impact on the benefit you are entitled to. You get your full benefit whether she claims an ex-spouse benefit or not.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,


LawTalk and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Ken. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise. I am generally available at least 6 days a week, and often 7, and it would be my privilege to assist you again in the future.

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