Can My Ex Reopen Our Divorce Settlement to Get My Retirement?

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‘I live in CA and was married to my ex in CA. We were divorced 8 years ago and were married for 18 years. She remarried almost 2 months to the day after our divorce was final and still is currently married. In our divorce papers it stated that she will receive our home which had approximately $125,000 in equity, various home furnishings, the new car, savings account and checking account. My ex was the one who drew up the divorce papers and the division of property. In the settlement I was awarded home furnishings, a 1996 Astro-Van, my Credit Union Account which had $500.00, my Deferred Compensation plan worth $30,000 and my PERS Account with a value of $99,983.15. She is now threatening to reopen the MSA and go after my retirement. She said she left a lot on the table and now she wants it. Again, she has been married since March of 2004; seven and half years. She sold the house in the same year we were divorced and purchased another home with the proceeds. The economy has taken such a loss and the home she purchased is about $300,000 underwater. I remarried in 2009 and my retirement is worth more now. So my big question is can she now take a portion of my retirement?’

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Typically once a final settlement is reached and incorporated into a court order,
that’s the end of it. Neither party can re-open it (that’s why it’s called “final”).

Assuming that this *was* a final settlement, and signed off on by the court, your ex-wife should not be able to re-open the issue (unless she wants to file an action for fraud, saying you failed to disclose information *at the time*). But to be sure, you should have an attorney review your final agreement and orders, and of course if you are served in this matter, contact a family law attorney right away.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.