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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31781
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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in new york state, if i divorce after 17 years, no children,

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in new york state, if i divorce after 17 years, no children, have paid for my wifes education but she refuses to work, will she get any of my LIRR pension?

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Roger : In New York, retirement benefits are considered marital property and can be divided between you and your ex-spouse in the event of a divorce.
Roger : Generally, any portion of the pension that has accumulated during the marriage is divisible, and this really would not have much to do with her refusal to work.
Roger : HOWEVER, if she refuses to work, her ability to seek a and receive spousal support will be impacted.

but it is an equitable distribution state and she did not contribute

Roger : The judge can base any request for spousal support on her earning POTENTIAL, and not her actual earnings.
Roger : It doesn't matter that she didn't contribute because anything that was acquired by either of you during the marriage is marital property and subject to division.

including her 100K education?

Roger : Equitable distribution simply means that the court will fairly divide the property - - which doesn't mean that the property will be divided equally, but instead that it will be divided fairly.
Roger : Yes,her education would be a consideration, and the fact that you paid for it would also be of value to you.
Roger : The judge should take the fact that you paid to have her educated into consideration, and give you proper credit.

i read that they prefer you divide assets outside of court

Roger : Absolutely.

and that the person who does not agree and forces it to go to court gets less

Roger : Courts prefer that the couple work out the property division themselves because that keeps the court from having to do it - - which takes time and slows the docket.
Roger : If the person holding out has a legitimate reason for not settling, then the judge isn't likely to hold it against him/her for forcing the matter to court.

so if I make her an offer and she doesn't accept it, she will likely get a worse deal by going to court, correct?

Roger : Not necessarily. It just depends on how reasonable the deal is.

so she has kept no household, contributed nothing monetarily, refuses to work


and could still get a substantial amount


she is perfectly healthy and has an education

Roger : The distribution of marital property is equitable as we've discussed, so the judge has the right to look at who contributed what and divide the property according to that - - - and not equally.
Roger : So, the fact that she hasn't contributed anything to the marriage in terms of assets will be something the judge takes into consideration.

so is there a possibility that she will not get that much because she has not contributed or do they generally take the womans side anyway

Roger : Sure.

Okay. any other advise?



Roger : You're correct that women usually get the better end of the deal in most cases because men are the wage earners and have the ability to make enough money replace things turned over to the wife, make more money to support the spouse, etc. So, it is not unusual for the wife to get a good deal.

It figures.


Thank you.

Roger : BUT, in a case where the wife has contributed nothing, and refuses to do so, the court will take that into account and should give you some favor in the equitable distribution.

That's a bit of good news.


Thank you

Roger : Sure. I wish you good luck with this, and if you need something further, please let me know.

Will do, thanks!

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