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I do not underdtand why my former spouse is even entitled to…

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I do not underdtand why...
I do not underdtand why my former spouse is even entitled to my retirement. We were married for 10 years, yes, but she left me and moved out of the state after 7. It took me almost 3 years to divorce her. My question is Why is she entitled? I served 21 years, 14 of them without her. Why does she deserve what I worked for?
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Family Law
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2/23/2012
Family Lawyer: jaccorps_esq, Arbitrator replied 6 years ago
jaccorps_esq
jaccorps_esq, Arbitrator
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,475
Experience: Civilian and military practice area
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Thank you for using Just Answer. Between my law practice and other law related jobs, I have over 13 years experience. I look forward to assisting you.

She is not actually entitled to anything. The USFSPA doesn't create an entitlement for spouses in relation to your military retirement.

All it does is grant the state court the right to make that determination and to consider your retirement a shared asset (just like all other forms of retirement in the civilian world can be considered a shared asset in divorce).

The state court has the right to then split it or not grant her anything at all, based on it's own choosing.

I don't know what stage you are in here, but it sounds like the court decided to grant her something. The court must have felt that she was entitled based solely on the marriage and the court considered a division of assets. I won't say she deserved anything, but the law gives the state court the right to make those determinations.

If you have more information for me to consider, I'd be happy to. That being said, it's extremely difficult to call into question the judicial discretion given to state courts to make these divisions of assets.
jaccorps_esq
jaccorps_esq, Arbitrator
Category: Family Law
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Experience: Civilian and military practice area
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
The court awarded her 50% which is about 900 a month. Does she get it for the rest of her life or is there a limit on the time she can collect?
Family Lawyer: jaccorps_esq, Arbitrator replied 6 years ago
Unless the court limited it, she gets that for as long as you both are alive. The USFSPA doesn't create any limit on it.

50% is a perfectly legal result, while I will agree that it is totally inappropriate in this situation (given the short period of the marriage and the overlap of military service).
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Well crap :( Can I fight this or is it another case of suck it up and move on?I understand I made the mistake of signing the divorce, do I have ANY recourse?
Family Lawyer: jaccorps_esq, Arbitrator replied 6 years ago
Your recourse is through the divorce court.

You can file a complaint with them concerning the amount granted, noting that it is an unfair division.

It is hard to reopen closed divorces but not impossible.

You can propose a formula that would be more fair, where they take into consideration the length of your service in relation to the length of the marriage.

You served 21 years but were only married 10 (they simply don't care about separations). It would be fair to grant her 50% of 10/21 or 24%...not 50%. A court would understand that better.
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Ok, Thank you for your time.
Family Lawyer: jaccorps_esq, Arbitrator replied 6 years ago
No problem. Take care.
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