Wife found out after divorce that husband hid retirement account and under fear waived her rights to it

Editor's Response

Hi Guest, I am not a lawyer so I cannot offer feedback on this topic. However, I was able to get a comment from the founder of the divorce website Divorce Saloon who is a former divorce attorney.

I’m summarizing here; but basically, her response:

If you waive a right then obviously you no longer have that right because you waived it. Her understanding is that when you waive your right to something, you no longer have a right to the thing. Because essentially waiving a right means that you acknowledge you have the particular right, but you’re saying “I will not exercise that right”.

So in the divorce action it doesn’t matter what the husband did because you’ve waived your rights to the assets he did not disclose.

Caveat: If you waived your rights based on fraudulent information or untruthful information that was given by your husband, then the waiver possibly could be challenged, because your husband lied in stating his assets.

She gives the following example:

Let’s say your husband said to you, “I have two thousand in assets”, when in fact he has $200,000. If you waived your right to the two thousand, it’s a different matter from waiving your right to the two hundred thousand.

So what are your options.

In the above scenario you would have to get a divorce lawyer and try to re-open the divorce and to set aside your waiver of your right based on:

A. fraud and/or
B. new information that was recently discovered to which you were not privvy at the time of the waiver.

Depending on the state in which you live, your right to re-open your divorce or to set aside your judgement of the divorce could change.

As for the fear part you mention, it isn’t completely clear what you mean. If you’re saying that you found out after the fact that your husband did not disclose assets during the divorce proceedings, and, after the fact, you waived your rights to those assets you found out about because you were pressured and succumbed to the pressure out of fear, these points could factor into the question of liability depending on the reason you were afraid. But it’s best to consult a divorce lawyer who is familiar with the divorce laws in your state.

She suggests you weigh the benefits of pursuing a lawsuit against the detriments. For example, if by fear you refer to fear for your life, then determine if what you might possibly gain from suing your husband is important enough to justify risking your personal safety in the hope of obtaining it.

I hope this answer helps.

If you need information about divorce I highly recommend a visit to Divorce Saloon where you can find hundreds of useful articles on all aspects of the subject of Divorce.