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On the woman who wants half her husband's pension
Married Life / 12:02 PM - Saturday August 01, 2009

On the woman who wants half her husband's pension

I was of the opinion that a fair and equitable settlement should be made, which means, since she gets the house, maybe not 50% of the pension, but a percentage... BTW, since she got custody of the kids, I would imagine any decent parent would want her to keep the house since the kids need the stability...

but, anyway, if the situation was reversed - if she made more money and wanted a divorce after 20 years - I'd be all for HIM getting part of HER pension as well.

The reality is that a marriage is a partnership. the marital assets (what is earned by both parties during the marriage) and liabilities are split equally upon divorce.

In some marriages the wife earns more. in that situation, when the assets are split equally at divorce, the ex-husband "benefits".

Update: August 02, 2009.
this has been interesting... obviously a few people's buttons got pushed... BTW, to greenwind: I'm claiming that both the man and the woman should be treated EQUALLY, not that women get "special rights". Marriage is partly a sacrament, partly romance and companionship, etc., but also partly a business or legal relationship - in a business partnership, if the partners break up and the business is sold, they divide up the assets equitably. In a marriage, the contractual aspect of it should be no different than any other type of partnership. In my marriage, for the first 3 years, I earned 50% more than my husband because I was an engineering manager. Then I stopped working to become a home-maker - I offered to let him be the "stay-at-home" but, like most men, there is a lot of ego tied up in his work for him. Which is OK with me, but my point was - I was OK with either of us staying home - I just wanted one of us home with the kids. (If I had been the one working while he stayed home - we would have been financially better off, actually, but I think it's worked out better for us this way in terms of the kids and so on. It's not all about the money.) Since I've been out of the work force for several years, of course now he makes more money. BUT - if I hadn't married him and we hadn't JOINTLY made the decisions we did - I'd have kept working. Obviously BOTH OF US have made choices for the good of the family. Now, when I made more money, we both had equal access to our money and we both had an equal say in the decisions we made. Now that I'm home, we still both have equal access and we both have an equal say. It's a partnership. I anticipated when we got married it would be forever. If for some reason he decides to leave - of course I get half the assets. If I had left him when I was earning 50% more - guess what, even though I'd made more than him at that point and contributed more to our investments - he'd have gotten half the assets. Marriage is a partnership, and I'm talking about equality under the law. I have no idea why you keep bringing up feminism when this has nothing to do with women's rights, it's about a legal contract (a marriage) and equal division of assets and liabilities REGARDLESS of who makes more money. In some situations the woman makes more money. I have a friend who is a college professor whose husband is a freelance photographer. He makes $50K, she makes $90K. Guess what - if they divorced, I'd say it's only fair that they split the assets. Even though in that situation, the man would benefit... again, it's not about the woman getting special treatment, but about a fair division of assets in what is essentially a partnership. In the case of children - of course the non-custodial parents pays child support. But the best thing I'd imagine would be joint custody because children need to know both their parents - in that situation, neither parent has to pay child support since they both theoretically cover the child's expenses for half the year.

- Asked by curvysmartgirl, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Dallas, Artist / Musician / Writer

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They take the value of all the assets. If he wants to keep the pension whole then he has to compensate on what it is worth. She cannot get half after 19 years of marriage. She can get a third after twenty. They take the value of the pension at maturity and divide it by the number of months they have been married and then she gets half of that. Or vice versa, flip flopping the genders.

- Response by william45, A Career Man, Male, 46-55, Chicago, Teaching

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I disagree. This gets ridiculous. 50% is called being lazy, like for people who just want an easy number and then they can call it a day. When Harrison Ford gets divorced and has to pay millions of dollars and also split the royalties on his movies, anyone with a brain knows that's bulls**t. I'm not saying the woman gets nothing, but come on. She had nothing to do with his acting, getting the part, the movie becoming a success, and so on. That is literal horsecrapola.

Likewise, you have no entitlement to a pension. A pension is money that people get for working somewhere a certain amount of time. That's THEIRS. You didn't work the job, they did. Or, let me put it this way, how about you get divorced and get slapped with half of their DEBT. Nobody says that's fair, for some odd reason. Or how about you get divorced and the woman has to keep coming over and cleaning your house? After all, she was the homemaker and you're paying for work, so she should pay for being the homemaker. I could go on and on about this.

- Response by istillhatescreennames, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 66 or older

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A woman who has been stay-at-home mother SHOULD be entitled to half of her husband's pension. She has forgone her own opportunities and career choices in life to raise a family and be a housewife, which is not a 9-to-five job.

Any man who disagrees with that in a divorce situation, should be required to calculate the hours of service his wife is owed asif he had to hire a surrogate Mom to bear his heirs, babysitters, housekeepers, cleaning services, laundry services, personal and grocery shopping services, chauffer and sex mate.

AND, don't forget to add in overtime,vacation time, cost-of-living increases, acrued interest on that money if it had been invested for her for the length of time married..

Most men would have to claim immediate bankruptcy!

The reason why laws were changed was because traditionally it ONLY benefited men...women got totally screwed in a divorce.

If any man out there is feeling discriminated against because you view this as unfair, get out your calculator. After you add up her hours honestly tell me WHY OTHER THAN LOVE AND IGNORANCE would a woman sign up for marriage and kids?

I am all for a 50/50 partnership and my hat is off to men who stay home and be the "housedaddies". Unfortunately they are the exception not the norm!

- Response by oneirishwitch, A Married Girl, Female, 56-65, Artist / Musician / Writer

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This is very true and I knooow ppeople who this has happend to. If she is in dire straights for money, then maybe he should take the kids.

- Response by barbb, An Alternative Girl, Female, Who Cares?, Other Profession

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this became a sticky point in my divorce till my lawyer pointed out to her she made considerable more money than I because she owned her own business.

She and her attorney backed down real fast knowing we were also contemplating asking for half of her cosmitology/spa business if she wanted half my pension + child support.

They were trying to see that I didn't have two nickles to rub together.
Ended up I got to keep my income minus $400.00 per month for 2 kids.

- Response by luvshooters, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 66 or older

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The difference is, most men aren't about to be weighed down with raising the kids. They prefer the easy 'walk out and forget about it' solution. Then they can bitch about the money later when their kids look them up.

- Response by twocents47, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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If a kid has to have a single parent, they're better off being raised by the mother anyway. It's unfair to make the father pay for the cost of raising the kid though.

- Response by peermey, A Career Man, Male, 36-45, Dallas, Who Cares?

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Her entitlement is I believe 50%......wether she takes it is her decision

- Response by spadeace, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Who Cares?

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I can't speak for all states or all pensions, but my pension cannot be touched for any reason..I am too old too owe child support, but even my creditors can't garnish my pension...

- Response by phoenixbandit, A Guy Critical, Male, 66 or older, Columbus, Law Enforcement

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With all this BS about who thinks they're "entitled" to something that someone else has worked for for a good chunk of their life, not to mention the greedy asshat bloodthirsty lawyers helping themselves to what you have left..... is it any wonder men [like me] choose to remain single, custodial, and raise the kids by themselves?

- Response by singledad281, An Intellectual Guy, Male, 46-55, Houston, Hospitality

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I think the husband is entitled to part of the wife's pension. I think you have to decline accepting it if you don't want either to have a percentage of the pension. I could be wrong though. Yeah, I think who has the biggest earnings will always come out on the shorter end of the stick.

- Response by thelovedovefor1, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Atlanta, Who Cares?

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