My ex & I are still married but separated since 2006. We married in 1991 & he retired from Navy in 2005. His attorney claims I'm not entitled to any portion of his military pension because he said we were separated in 2001 & only lived together as roommates not husband & wife which is not true. Am I entitled to a portion of the military pension? Can I get retroactive pay?
Assuming that Florida law controls your case, that is, that Florida was the last state that you resided together as husband and wife, I would disagree with your husband's attorney. Under Section 61.075, which is the section that deals with equitable distribution, the date for determining whether an asset is marital is "the earliest of the date the parties enter into a valid separation agreement, such other date as may be expressly established by such agreement, or the date of the filing of a petition for dissolution of marriage." Since your question does not state that you have signed a separation agreement, then the date would be the date that the dissolution action was filed. The question of retroactive pay is a little trickier. You would certainly not receive retroactive pay from the military and, frankly, it may be difficult to receive your part of the already paid military retired pay.
I strongly suggest that you consult with an attorney, since there are substantial legal issues involved, and it is difficult, even for an attorney, to have the correct language in the paperwork, so that you can receive the money directly from the military. Also, there may be additional benefits that you may be entitled to. Speak to an attorney who has experience in handling military divorces.
Eileen D. Jacobs, Esq.
Office: 2505 W. Virginia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
Mailing: P.O. Box 14953
Clearwater, Florida 33766-4953
You have been married during this time.
You are entitled to a marital share based on the years of marriage which overlap his active duty service.
Do not accept his lawyers advice. Get your own lawyer. This could be a lot of money.
In addition. Depending on the length of the marriage and overlapping years you may be a 20/20/20 spouse. In which case you keep you medical and other military benefits (unless you remarry).