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Ex Wife Remarries yet wants Survivor Benefits

Guest Smoke1172

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Guest Smoke1172

I have had the QDRO prepared and now the ex wants a change. I am military, not yet retired, and she will receive a percentage of my retirement pay. No arguement there. She wants survivor benefits.

I have remarried.

The ex has remarried. She is under 55 yo.

The divorce decree does not specify survivor benefits.

My thought was once I remarried, any survivor benefits, if I chose them, would be to my surviving spouse. Secondly, because it was not specified in the divorce decree she is not entitled.

Is she entitled to SB?


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Depends on what you mean by "entitled." Is she "entitled" under the wording of the court documents and how the words will be interpreted under your retirement plan -- you have to ask your lawyer, who may or may not know, unfortunately. Is it "right" for her to have survivior benefits? Many would argue that she is entitled to survivor benefits in order to protect her share of the retirement benefits awarded to her in the event of your untimely demise. Under various retirement arrangements, a plan will not pay the regular benefit awarded to the former spouse if the participant dies before benefits start. The former spouse could get nothing unless the former spouse is awarded some portion of survivor benefits (the only benefits that the plan will pay after the participant's death), in the same way that the former spouse was awarded some portion of the regular accrued benefit. Looking at it another way, should the former spouse get the survivior benefits (or some portion) that accued during the marriage and the new spouse get only what is accrued after the marriage? Your retirement benefits, and how the arrangement provides for dividing them, may not present this issue.

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