Six years ago, I separated from my husband and we filed for a dissolution of marriage with our individual lawyers. The process got complicated and there was never a final settlement by the court. So, we remained legally married, yet separated (not legally). So, my lawyer suggested a joinder with my husband's pension which was served to the retirement office of his employer.


Six months ago, my husband retired and his retirement administrator kept my share (50%) of his pension on abeyance due to the joinder, and pending results of the dissolution of marriage.
However, my husband died last month, which left me in legally married status.


Now, his retirement administrator claims that the funds in abeyance (specifically held for my benefit) cannot be disbursed to me until the dissolution of marriage is complete. This isn't possible is it, since I can't divorce him after his death? So, the retirement administrator said the funds will be kept and subject to probate. Why would it be considered an asset of his that has not been appointed to anyone, and be required to go through probate?


What options do I have? Can I get a court to order the funds in abeyance be paid out to me, since the funds are community property and I am the surviving spouse with direct rights to it? Or can I vacate the joinder and get the retro funds in abeyance paid out to me?