AmI entitled to half of my ex-husband’s pension if it was not addressed in the divorce?

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AmI entitled to half of my ex-husband’s pension if it was not addressed in the divorce?

The initial divorce decree does not address this issue. Am I within my rights to ask for 1/2 of the pension. We were married for 21 years.

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the divorce decree has been finalized, then no, you may not seek half of your husband's pension (exept as indicated below): the divorce decree sets the rights and duties of the former spouses, and one of those spouses cannot seek to reapportion or change them without compelling cause. In a situation like this, the only good grounds would likely be that your husband had in some way hidden his pension from you during the marriage and divorce, and you only just became aware of it; in that case, your inability to have addressed it earlier, coupled with his actions in concealing it, might warrant revisiting the terms of the decree. But if you knew of the pension during the divorce proceeding, it is difficult to imagine a court allowing you to now seek a part of it after the divorce was finalized.

If the decree has not been finalized yet, then you can certainly bring up  the pension and seek some portion.


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