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Ask LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37850
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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I am a federal work and have been years. I want to retire

Customer Question

I am a federal work and have been for 33 years. I want to retire now. I married my husband in January 2001 and he had an affair and I asked him to leave six months later. I started our divorce in 2008 and now I would like to finish it. My husband always said he wouldn't never go after my retirement. I went to the court and got the paper for us to finish our divorce uncontested and now he claims I owe him $5,000 for something and won't sign the paper until I give it to him or he will go after my retirement. We were together four years prior to getting married and I supported him the entire time. He lied to me and told me was terminally ill so I took care of him. Obviously he lied to me. I really want to retire now. Should I wait until my divorce is complete. I'm not giving him anything so I guess we will have to go to court now. How much of my pension is he going to get. He never contributed anything to our marriage. I even paid for our wedding by myself
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good morning,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
Your husband can compel the court to give him a portion of your retirement package, but only a very small portion. Let me explain.
Under CA community property law, your husband will be entitled to a pro-rata share of the pension that you earned During the marriage.
Under CA law, the dates of marriage run from the date of marriage do the date of separation---in your case a short 6 month period.
So to calculate the total retirement entitlement your husband might have you take the time of marriage (6 months) divided by the number of years you worked for the pension (33 years) and you get 0.0152. That is the portion of your pension that you earned in that 6 month period---1.52 percent. However, his entitlement is just 50% of that---so his grand entitlement to your pension would be no greater than 0.0075, or a meager .75%. So for every $1000 of your monthly pension payments, he would receive only $7.50 and you would receive $992.50. So, if you live another 30 years and he does as well, he will collect a total of just $2,700 per thousand of your retirement benefit, while you would receive $357,000.
There is absolutely no reason that you should wait until your divorce is final to retire. If you would like to do so, then do so now. It is not going to have any negative effect on your divorce.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
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I wish you and yours the best in 2015,