Divorce Solutions

Question #9

I’ve been married for almost 11 years now. My husband has been in the military for our entire marriage. Right now, we live on Long Island, NY. We have two children: a nine 1/2-year-old daughter and a two 1/2-year-old son. We have a mortgage together on our house. I want to move my children out of state near my family. He says the only way he’ll let me leave is if I sign over the house to him. Is there any way I can leave the state and still get half of the house? Plus, I’ve been told I’m entitled to part of his pension through the military. He says if I ever get remarried, I won’t get anything from his pension. Is that true?

If the property was purchased with marital funds during your marriage, you are entitled to approximately a one-half interest. He cannot take that away from you. However, assuming that you become the residential parent of the children, he will most likely be provided with liberal visitation rights. That would require your remaining with the children in the same approximate vicinity or within a certain radius of your present marital home, for him to be able to make these visitations. The courts are generally reluctant to grant the residential parent the right simply to move away and to force the other parent to relate to the children from long-distance unless there are extenuating circumstances, which must be in the children’s best interest, rather than the parent’s best interest.

Concerning the pension, you have an interest and his income and in his retirement accounts, including his pension for that portion of the period in which you were married. Your interest in the pension is a marital asset and not part of spousal support, and therefore will not terminate upon your remarriage.

If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss mediating your divorce. Mediation will be able to provide a forum in which we can all sit down together and work out an acceptable arrangement for both parties. Litigating this matter in court will be very expensive, and the result may not be to your liking.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esquire/Divorce Solutions