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Has she got access to my pension or severance pay?

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Anonymous Asked:

1. My wife left our house with my 21 year old son and most of my furniture. She is now asking for a separation. What are my rights? Am I entitled to any compensation as she abandoned / deserted me?
2. I have money accrued from my severance pay from my previous job for my retirement. This is my only current income. My wife is employed full time and earns a steady salary. What are my rights? Has she got access to my pension or severance pay?

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Stuart Zukerman
5 years ago

No you are not entitled to compensation for abandonment or desertion. There is not sufficient info provided to answer questions about your rights and entitlements – you need to consult with a lawyer to learn about your rights to property, asset & debt division, pension division, spousal support, child support for an adult child, potential division of severance pay, etc. If your severance is based on your past service (where you receive an amount of severance calculated by the number of weeks or years of past service) then it is more likely to be divisible. However if the severance is really “pay in lieu of notice” i.e. it is compensation for the future number of weeks it is likely to take you to find employment, then it is not a divisible asset, though it does form a part of your annual income which is available for consideration when determining your spousal and child support obligations. The amount of spousal support payable by either of you to the other depends on the annual difference in your respective line 150 incomes and on the number of years of cohabitation involved.

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