According to an April 18, 2017 New York Law Journal article, a divorced couple was disputing the details of the distribution of the ex-husband’s pension. He had retired from the F.D.N.Y and began receiving a pension in May 2014. The couple was divorced. Often, when a couple is divorced the two parties split their pension payments. The precise numbers are usually worked out in a Domestic Relations Order (DRO) or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) prepared by pension experts and signed by a judge.

In this case, the wife’s DRO paperwork was not submitted to the court immediately after the divorce stipulation, or agreement, was signed. As such, the husband received pension payments for some time, and the wife did not. The wife began to receive her proper amount in November 2015 after the DRO paperwork was finalized. She sought to receive a share of the money that her ex-husband had received from his pension during the time period from when the divorce stipulation was signed to when she started receiving the pension money. The husband argued against this change to the original divorce stipulation as it was already two years old. He argued against giving her back pension money. The judge ruled that while the DRO was not approved for two years following the divorce, the ex-wife was entitled to the money—waiting to submit the DRO and waiting for its approval, thus, did not erase the husband’s duty to divide his pension. In fact, the judge ruled that the husband must pay back pension funds in a lump sum payment totaling over $30,000. It is best to work with your lawyer to submit paperwork to the courts as speedily as possible to avoid additional litigation. However, it is always important to fight for your rights—whether they relate to the custody of your children or the division of your spouse’s pension. Contact the law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. if you are seeking a divorce or have a family court case. Mr. Lutzky offers free in-office consultations Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment or visit to learn more about Mr. Lutzky’s 33+ years of experience.