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Am I entitled to my wifes pension?

New York, NY |

Married 25 years, living apart for 8 yrs. Not legally separated, still legally married. I have no pension, she has been vested for 10 years now. We are seeking divorce.

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Attorney answers 6


The martial portion of her pension should be subjectto equitable d distribution


The short answer is yes, you are entitled to a portion of your wife's pension. A pension is a marital asset and all marital assets are "equitably" divided upon divorce. The usual division is a 50/50 split. The portion of the pension that is marital is the portion that was earned after the date of the marriage and up to the date when an action for divorce was commenced or the date when a separation agreement is signed.


Yes. You generally will be entitled to the marital portion of the pension. Pension accruals from the date of the marriage until the date the action for divorce was commenced will be divided based upon a specific formula. This will require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to be issued by the court before any such split can take place.

Please note that this general response to your inquiry does not establish an attorney-client relationship.You should consult with a competent attorney for advice regarding your particular situation.


Yes, in New York, deferred compensation (i.e. pension) is considered marital property subject to equitable distribution. As such, I urge you to reach out to a local divorce attorney to further discuss your options.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Best Regards,
Richard Batelman, Esq.
(718) 336- 1456


Pursuant to NYS law you have a right to seek an equitable share of your spouse's pension. Your share will equal one half of the time from the later of the date of the marriage or your wife starting work until the commencement of the divorce (the date summons was filed in court) divided by the amount of time that your wife works until she retires. Your share will be obtained by either a qualified domestic relations order or a domestic relations order, depending upon the type of pension. You may be entitled to all pension benefits including a defined benefit, defined compensation plan, a IRA or KEOGH, and deferred compensation. Consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to assist you.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


You are entitled to an equitable share of your spouse’s pension to the extent the pension was acquired between the date of the marriage and the commencement of the matrimonial action.

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