Can I modify my divorce decree?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I modify my divorce decree?

After 26 years of emotional, verbal, and occasional physical abbuse, I decided to divorce my husband and left with nothing. He recently committed suicide leaving his burden of debt on his children and myself. He did have a pension plan which I have just became aware of, however they are denying me this because we are divorced and it is not in the decree. My ex-husband did not participate in any of the paperwork or show up for the final hearing. I consider this a hidden asset that he did not list on the decree. As his beneficiary on the pension plan, I was wondering if there is a way to modify the divorce decree so I can send it to the Laborers A.G.C and maybe receive his pension.

Asked on July 17, 2019 under Family Law, Montana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF he had the pension at thee time of your divorce, it might be considered a hidden asset that should have been disclosed and addressed in the decree. However, to try to do this, you will have to file a lawsuit against his estate and seek a court order modifying the decree, the same way that, were he still alive when you discovered this, you would have brought the legal action against him personally. A decree cannot be modified unilterally; the other side (or in this case, their estate) must be noticed in a formal legal action and have the opportunity to object to the request.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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