Are spouses always entitled to a share of the other spouse’s pension plan?
Brian S. Loughmiller’s Answer:
Generally speaking, a pension is a community asset. There are formulas you can look to in terms of determining what the community interest is of that retirement plan. There are rules that pertain to certain types of pension plans that make it somewhat more cumbersome to divide. For instance, if your spouse is in the military, there are specific rules that apply to division of military retirement plans. And that becomes a complicated issue because, while the state law would allow that military retirement plan to be divided on divorce, there are specific rules regarding whether or not you can get direct payment from the military. You have to meet certain requirements, and if you don’t, then you don’t get the direct payment and you have to go about it in a different manner. The simple answer is that pensions are divisible on divorce – and the complex answer is that it depends who your spouse works for, and if there are there any rules that come into play about how you ultimately access the funds.