Q: My husband recently retired. Shouldn’t I be getting half of his retirement benefits? Separated for 8 years and married
for 35 years. Last year he said I would be receiving money at the beginning of this year. I haven’t received anything. I stayed home and raised our three kids, never asked for anything from him. Suddenly he won’t speak to me. Should I call his former company for information or should I hire an attorney?
A: I gather you and he are not divorced. If you are not divorced, then the only way that you are going to share in his retirement benefits is if you file for divorce and as part of the divorce process, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is entered in your favor, dividing his retirement benefits. Otherwise, your receipt of benefits will come from your husband only since the company will not split the benefits and give you a share of same.
A: Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, your rights as a spouse are not protected by a separation. You need to file for a divorce. Under NJ law you would be entitled to equitable distribution, child support, spousal support and a plethora of other rights. You should absolutely hire an attorney without further delay.
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