My dad was in process of a divorced and passed away before it was dissolved. He had a will that left me everything. So me and his spouse separated everything. And we both had attorneys. So there was a settlement agreement drawn up. It's been 10 years and apparently there is a retirement pension my dad had that the spouse left out when we divided everything that had her name on it as beneficiary. According to our settlement agreement anything that come up later that my dad's spouse and his name's are on together for anything is released to me even if she is a surviving spouse. The retirement place said it doesn't matter what our agreement was because my dad had her as beneficiary she is entitled to it . She released all her rights to anything of my fathers and I'm the beneficiary to my community property and estate. The divorce never was final cause he passed away. I guess she is considered a widow now. my dad was on her retirement plan at that time I didn't know my dad had a separate one I aloud her to keep hers Cause she wanted her retirement but I got the cash from house. It's only fair she got hers i get my dads. Right?
The retirement plan folks correctly state that they have to go by the beneficiary designations on that account. And typically, the spouse is designated as a beneficiary.
But if you had negotiated a settlement, she may have owed a duty to disclose that fact (in the context of your negotiations). Consult a local lawyer about whether any claim that you may have and whether such a claim would be time-barred (given that you say this was approximately 10 years ago).
Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice, should not be relied on, and is not substitute for a consultation wtih an attorney. You should seek in-person legal counsel from an appropriately licensed attorney immediately. This answer also does not create an attorney-client relationship or any other relationship.
If the retirement plan had a payable on death clause in it then any death benefits, not affected by the divorce, would go to the named beneficiary outside of the divorce judgment. It all depends on what the retirement plan states.
The company did nothing wrong but you may be able to sue the spouse for breach of the settlement agreement. Have the agreement reviewed by an attorney and proceed accordingly.
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