My ex-husband told me I was not entitled to any of his military retirement, I believed him. Is that true?

Question:

My ex-husband told me I was not entitled to any of his military retirement, I believed him. Is that true?

We were married for over 20 years and he was in the military for 25 years, he collects a substantial military retirement and told me that I was not entitled to any of it. He said I would have to sue for it and probably wouldn’t get any of it. I have no retirement, no money and no family here ( I moved here with him from my native England). I have always worked, and helped to raise his children. I signed the papers to say I would not collect any of the retirement, because I believed him and also because I needed to stay in the house until I found somewhere else to live. Was I not entitled to any of the retirement money?

Answer:

If the military benefit was not divided in the Divorce Decree and all, or a portion of the benefit, was earned during the marriage, then you may have the ability to collect your share of the benefit. The issue will be whether the Family Court can be re-opened to divide the asset or whether you will have to sue him in civil court. You should immediately contact an attorney since this is a somewhat complicated issue. However any asset that was earned during the marriage can be divided, including a military retirement benefit.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

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