Military divorce and military pension distributions ?
My ex spouse filed for divorce 3 years ago.
The divorce became a default uncontested marriage dissolution ( filed in California) and was finalized on August 2017
As I didn't respond to it is it too late to set it aside and start over or do some amendments to it?
I didn't have money for a lawyer back then and couldn't do anything
Now I realized that my ex didn't mention his retirement pay in the divorce paper.
Can the divorce be reopened as my ex didn't disclose all his assets?
I heard something about ex military spouse protection act how does it work exactly? I was married for 4 years to active duty service member and I know that my ex will try to retire after 20 years
Or can I just go to a federal court and file a lawsuit against my ex to ask for portion of his military retirement pay?
What would be my steps in this case?
2 attorney answers
Federal court is not an option, Divorce is a state court matter... Straight from the DOD
A former spouse must have been awarded a portion of a member’s military retired pay in a State court order. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), Title 10, United States Code, Section 1408, passed in 1981, accomplishes two things. First, it authorizes (but does not require) State courts to divide military retired pay as a marital asset or as community property in a divorce proceeding. Second, it provides a mechanism for a former spouse to enforce a retired pay as property award by direct payments from the member’s retired pay. Retired pay as property payments are prospective only. Retired pay arrears cannot be collected under the USFSPA.
You weren’t married long enough to be entitled to direct payments. ( 10 years)...There’s four ways for an award... A fixed amount, a percentage, a formula or a hypothetical that the former spouse is awarded...
Reopening this will not be easy... see https://www.courts.ca.gov/34347.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=en
If he failed to disclose this you have a year from discovery or when you should have discovered it.... if the paperwork was sent to you like it was supposed to have been (the disclosure forms), you would have known he was in military at the time... the non disclosure should have been obvious....
people contest divorces without attorneys all the time. I can see the court saying the date you should have discovered this ( and it’s discovery not action) within days of getting the disclosures in 2017. Just saying I did nothing because “I couldn’t afford an attorney” won’t go very far...... given the statutory timeframes.
You’ll need to take everything to an attorney and review
This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.
Retirement pay there’s not an asset. Retirement plans are as such. However, I don’t think you are married to him long enough to be entitled to any of his retirement. However, as you say, this is a complicated scenario and you need to hire an attorney who is very conversant with military retirement law.
Retirement pay is not an asset. Retirement plans are as such. However, I don’t think you were married to him long enough to be entitled to any of his retirement. An asset that was omitted from the divorce can be divided it anytime. So if you mention the retirement that wasn’t an amended asset. An attorney will have to review the judgment.
However, as you say, this is a complicated scenario and you need to hire an attorney who is very conversant with military retirement law.
This is general advice. You are anonymous. If you PM me i won’t know what it’s about.
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