My wife and I are going through an uncontested, amicable divorce. As it stands, we are both keeping our own retirement accounts.
After the decree is final, could she try to go after my pension?
Congratulations on working through your divorce amicably. Divorce is a very emotionally charged process, and I commend you for being able to work with your wife through this process.
In Colorado, where I practice, retirement accounts, including pensions, are considered property. Anything that is earned or acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, to which your wife is likely entitled to a portion of it.
Generally, once a decree is entered, a party cannot come back and change the agreement unless something was omitted from the original disclosures.
In Colorado, if you have disclosed the pension and your wife is aware of its existence and its approximate value, it would be difficult for her to come back to court later to try to get a portion of it.
I would advise you to specifically say in your agreement that she “waives” her right to your pension, meaning she is specifically stating that she is not taking any of it. However, this is a fairly complicated issue because it deals with the specific appeals processes for your state.
Every state is different, so while I know how the situation would work in Colorado, I would strongly advise you to speak with an attorney who is licensed in your state.
Hiring an attorney does not mean that the attorney has to represent you in court and that you would require a hearing. Many clients hire us to give them advice specific to their situation and to potentially help them draft a formal agreement.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”