Staten Island Family Divorce Attorney

But it’s my pension!

I often say that many of my clients want to protect their pensions from their spouses with the same fervor that they would protect a vital organ. During a divorce, it can seem unfair to have to share your retirement benefits with your spouse. You may ask questions like: How will I live in retirement? Why is she/he entitled to my benefits when I was the one who went to work? The hard truth is that your pension, 401(k) and other retirement benefits are marital property, just like your house, car or bank accounts.

Retirement assets get distributed in a divorce too, and unless your spouse waives his or her rights to your benefit, you will have to divide same and your spouse will be given a share of that benefit. How much of a share? Well, that all depends upon a formula determined by how long you have been on your job and how many of those years or months accrued while you were married.

Essentially, your spouse’s interest in your retirement benefits begins to accrue on the date that you say, "I do," and stops accruing on the date you file for divorce. Although, most attorneys are not actuaries, the ones who exclusively practices divorce law will be able to give you a rough estimate of the marital percentage of your retirement benefit before you file the divorce. Select an attorney who can help you Turn Fear Into Power When Happily Ever After Fades Away, by educating you on your pension distribution rights/entitlements.