Question #330:This is a question for my partner, who I have a son (5) from and who I have been with for 6 years. He was married for 21 years and has been legally separated for about 7 years. He did not complete the Divorce because his EX wife walked away and refused to sign the papers. They had a house in Westchester that went to Foreclosure. Today, he is retired and has his IRA, pension and 401.. My question is, if he is not divorced and just legally separated, is she entitled to any money? And if he takes money out of his IRA, or pension, does he need her signature. We are trying to start the process of just the paperwork for the Divorce, but we don’t know where to turn to, we need guidance on so many levels. Thanks

You indicate that your partner is “legally separated”. Was that separation done by an attorney and was it filed with the county clerk in Westchester ?
If it was properly drawn , executed and filed, the cutoff date for his spouse’s interest in his retirement account and pension is most likely the date the separation was
Filed with the county clerk. The spouse is entitled to approximately half of whatever was contributed to the retirement and pension accounts during the time they weremarried until the filing date of the separation.
Please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the other matters and the filing of the divorce.

Leonard Weiner, Esq/ Divorce Solutions

Question #325:Hi, I am hoping you can answer a question for me. First a brief history…. My husband and I had 4 children and then separated after being together for 19 years (married for 17). We have been separated for 18 years and are finally getting a divorce. I see in the papers (he sent over for me to sign) it mentions his retirement fund being his separate asset and that maintenance was not ordered. Before I sign these papers I am curious and would like to find out if I am entitled to anything considering how long we’ve been separated (not legally separated). By the way, I live in Washington state. I would like to know if I would be entitled to spousal maintenance, part of my husband’s retirement fund, or inheritance he just received due to his mother passing away. Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.

Do Not Sign the Papers! Unless you had a legal separation 18 years ago, you are still legally married and any property or asset, including your spouse’s retirement account is a marital asset, to which you would be entitled to a share. Any inheritance he received ,if kept in his name only, is separate property, not marital.

Consult an experienced matrimonial lawyer in your jurisdiction and seek his advice .,

Leonard Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

Question #295:I have been married for 27 years but my husband and I have been separated for about 18 years. My husband lives in the state of NY, retired military and now works for the department of defense. I live in Georgia where my husband and I decided we would settle down after he retired. He went overseas and when he returned he made one excuse after another why he was not able to come home to stay. It was always something with the job. When he retired he got a job on the installation where he worked as a soldier. Then his excuse was he couldn’t find a job in Georgia. I have always worked part time as I raised out daughters who are now 22 and 25 years old and in college. We are now in the process of getting a divorce and we both have attorneys. This is not something I wanted but my husband has made it clear now that he is not committed to this marriage even though he had been helping financially every since he has been gone. He has admitted to being in a relationship and having a 15 year old son. He has offered me $1,600.00 a month for ten years and a life insurance policy. My attorney feels that’s a good offer in that we have been separated for a long time. I don’t think this is a fair offer and I know what the entitlements are in that we have been married for over 10 yrs while he was in the military. What are the laws in NY with marriage and separation? We are not legally separated. Does the time we have been separation affect what I am entitled to through the military?

You should be entitled to approximately half of your husband’s pension earned during the course of the marriage and any assets which were acquired during the marriage, regardless of in whose name the assets are held.
The marriage , unless legally separated or divorced, continues regardless of whether you are living together or have been apart for a number of years.

If your husband is living in the New York City metro are, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter further.

Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #121:My father resides in and works for NY state. My mother had an affair and has not been in the home for 2.5yrs. What laws, if any, protect my father and his retirement fund after the divorce?

There are no laws that protect your father’s retirement fund. Your parents must enter into a legal separation in order to protect the assets which they acquire during the course of the marriage from the claims of the other spouse. Until that is done, they are still continued to be deemed legally married and have an interest in the assets acquired by the other party.

If they are living in the New York City metropolitan area , I strongly suggest they call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating their separation and divorce. It will save them time, money, and aggravation. It is time they properly dealt with their separation so that they may legally get on with their lives without the fear of interference by the other party.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions