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I was married in California and lasted married 3 1/2 years.

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My name is***** was married...
My name is***** was married in California and lasted married 3 1/2 years. We had 2 children (now adults). We separated (not legally) and never got divorced. Although he contributed to the maintenance of the children, he never made any for myself, since I worked. I've been retired for 8 1/2 years. He's retired too. I have pension benefits plus other source of income. As far as I know, his only source of income is Social Security benefits. Our relationship through the years has been amicably and his relationship with the children has been close. We have been informally separated for over 50 years. If anything happens to me, is he in-titled to any of my pension benefits ? My pension provider says no, not anymore. He's aware of all my source of income, but he has never asked/plans to ask for anything so far. Advice is needed
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
2/29/2016
Family Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 2 years ago
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 42,154
Experience: Attorney with 17 years experience
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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If anything happens to me, is he in-titled to any of my pension benefits ?

.

If you are still legally married, then the amount of time you have lived apart wouldn't somehow divorce you due to the passage of time. So if this is an employer sponsored pension plan like a 401k, this is governed under a federal law called ERISA that states that the surviving spouse is the automatic beneficiary of the plan by law unless they actually sign a written waiver and disclaimer of interest in the plan.

.

So the pension provider is mistaken here because federal law trumps all when it comes to company sponsored pension plans.

.

If you want to leave the pension to someone else, you need to get a written waiver from the plan administrator and then have your husband sign it and then return it to the plan administrator.

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.

thanks

Barrister

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