This is a great question. Both spouses are entitled to 1/2 of any assets that were acquired during the course of the marriage, including pensions. So the short answer is yes, assuming that the entire pension was earned while you were married. If you actually split the payments with your spouse, then payments will not begin until your spouse is entitled to receive benefits. However, there are cases where one spouse will “buy out” the other from their pension, using a present value of the pension which can be calculated or negotiated between the parties.
The amount that you receive could be considered as a factor when the court is determining the amount of alimony – because it would affect your need and your spouse’s ability to pay. In addition, the amount of the pension could also be counted as gross income and affect any child support payments.
In short, there are a lot of variables at play here. If you have further questions, feel free to contact our office at 919-883-4861.