If you are handling your own divorce, one important type of marital property that can be easily overlooked is the interest one spouse has in the other spouse's pension, retirement, profit sharing, and deferred compensation plan(s).
You or your child may be entitled to some (or all) of your spouse’s pension, retirement, or similar benefits with his/her employer(s). Over the years this can be worth far more than the household furnishings or a car.
Read the law: MD Code Family Law § 8-205(a)
If you might be eligible for benefits under your spouse’s pension, retirement, profit sharing, or deferred compensation plan, it will be necessary to consult with a lawyer who specializes in this type of case. Some people are concerned they do not have enough money to have a lawyer. However, even if you decide to not go ahead with your claim, it is important to know what you might be giving up. In some cases, you may find it wise to borrow money to pay an attorney to secure your rights to this potentially valuable marital asset.
You will note that this issue is likely to be one where you will need the services of an attorney.
Pension Self – Quiz
Does your spouse currently have a pension, retirement, profit sharing, or deferred compensation plan with his/her employer?
Does your spouse have a pension, retirement, profit sharing, or deferred compensation plan with a former employer?
Does (or has) your spouse worked for:
- the federal government?
- the state government?
- a county or local municipality?
- a school system?
- a unionized employer?
- the military?
If you answered “yes” to even one of the above, you should consult an attorney.
To Learn More
The following book is available at most Maryland public law libraries
Cynthia Callahan, & Thomas C. Ries, Fader's Maryland Family Law, §12-4 (5th ed. 2011)