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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2014, 08:47 AM
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Default Date of Cohabitation vs. Marriage - Pension

Hi All,

In a nutshell:
-Moved across the country in 2000 as bf began his career with the Canadian Forces.
-Had a child in 2004.
-Married in 2007.
-Another child 2009.
-Separated 2012.

He built his career and I worked wherever I could find employment.
I started working for the Department of National Defence in 2007 as a civie and starting contributing to my pension, however, went on relocation of spouse when he was posted and struggled to regain employment until 2011.

Our battle is regarding his pension. I am requesting pension division from date of cohabitation and he is refusing, saying from date of marriage.

In two years of battling he has failed to supply financial disclosure and it just came to my attention that I could apply for the information on pension division to get his pension info. I rec'd two figures, from DOC and DOM. The difference is $60,000 approx. I have a small pension as his was built for 12 years and mine was approx. 3 years in total - due to relo of spouse and maternity leave in 2009.

I am claiming unjust enrichment.

My lawyer asked if I wanted an actuary to analyze his pension and advised that the numbers could be higher or lower. I felt like I was being asked to take door number 1, 2 or 3.

Is it worth getting an actuary or do I just go with the numbers given by PWGSC (public works)?

TIA
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:46 PM
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I would love to find out as well. I was married for 14 years and common law for 5 years, which was signed by his superior after living together after one year so I can get on his benefits. I never had or have a pension plan in place, as I too was always looking for employment and getting what I could when we were posted. We never stayed in one place for much longer than 3 years. He refuses to acknowledge the co-habitation years, and I still don't know the value of the pension as he never submitted it.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:08 AM
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Who is the pension with? Last month I accidently found out that I could request an estimate of his pension eventhough he STILL hasnt provided financial disclosure. Can you contact the pension plan and see if they will provide that? As for split from date of cohabitation, I am claiming unjust enrichment as he will benefit from the wealth of his growing pension. Our cohabitation time was a joint venture in which every intention was to have kids, buy a house, get married etc. which we eventually did.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:30 AM
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He is with the military so yes I believe a spouse can request regardless if he provides permission.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:36 AM
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A spouse (married or common-law) can apply to find out what a government pension is worth, and have it split 50-50. As long as you cohabitated for at least a year, that whole year will count. The ex can't do anything about it. Government pensions are scary that way.

You can even apply to do this years after a separation agreement has been signed. The only defense an ex has against it is if the separation agreement specifically states that you received other assets in lieu of the share of the pension.

However, your share of the pension will be put into a locked in RRSP type fund so you can't access it until your retirement. If you want liquid cash now, you are better off arguing for not touching the pension and taking a greater share of the matrimonial home or something like that.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:06 PM
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You will have to split yours as well

I believe it will be date of cohabitation, but a lawyer would better advise you to that.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:42 PM
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In order for me to claim half of his pension from date of cohabitation, it has to be agreed upon between myself and him OR it has to be court ordered. I can try and claim unjust enrichment, however, it can be a long and drawn out AND $$ court battle.

So, in essence, l am entitled to is half his pension and him half of mine since date of marriage.

Common-law status vs marriage is completely different as is federal and non-federal pensions.

Common-law status does NOT provide entitlement to half of the pension for the seven years before we got married. Pension is seen as property and according to my lawyer, the Family Law Act will play precendence over equitable remedy.

I think it is wrong and unfair, but my happiness matters more than money.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:44 PM
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Common law does not entitle you to half of pension.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:55 PM
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It does for a federal pension. My pension advisor told me a horror story about a golddigger who would cohabitate with someone for a year, then break up with them, and apply to get the half of their pension for that year. Then find another mark and repeat the process.

But don't get your advice from strangers on the internet, or even your lawyer in this matter. Call up the pension administrator and find out what's what and what steps you can take. From the pension perspective, there doesn't even have to be a separation agreement in place. Half that pension is yours as far as they are concerned, and your ex doesn't have to agree with it.

Of course, going behind the ex's back like that would definitely be stepping up the conflict. You would have to examine your situation and decide if it's worth playing hardball here to lose the ability to negotiate other matters.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rioe View Post
It does for a federal pension. My pension advisor told me a horror story about a golddigger who would cohabitate with someone for a year, then break up with them, and apply to get the half of their pension for that year. Then find another mark and repeat the process.
Holy cow. That's quite a trick. There's got to be an easier way to earn a living ...
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