Divorce & Annulment

questions & answers

Question: I was married to my ex-husband for 11 years. He served in Air Force until he retired. Nothing regarding his retirement is in our divorce decree. Can I collect some his pension under the Former Spouse Retirement Act?

Answer: The Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act is the overarching federal statute that directs the states to treat military pensions as property rather than income in divorce and governs the terms and condition for dividing retirement pay.  Normally, the division is handled during the divorce. You may need to go back to family court to assert your rights which depend on a number of factors about your marriage and the military service of your ex.  You may wish to discuss your situation with an attorney to decide how to proceed.  This issue is far too fact specific to be handled in a web site question format.  There are 3 programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the Modest Means Program.  If you are financially qualified for the program, for a $75 fee, Modest Means  offers one hour consult with an attorney.  If you need additional help and the attorney agrees to take your case, the fee charged will not exceed $75 per hour.  The telephone number is (866)637-5341.  Both the Maricopa and Pima County Bar Associations have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consult for a fee of $40.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625.

QUESTIONS

  • I was married to my ex-husband for 11 years. He served in Air Force until he retired. Nothing regarding his retirement is in our divorce decree. Can I collect some his pension under the Former Spouse Retirement Act?

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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