How will your retirement be divided in your divorce?
My clients are often surprised when I tell them that their retirement assets may be considered marital property. If you accumulated the funds during your marriage, they may be divided as part of your divorce. However, you may have other marital assets to divide as well. All of your marital property will be taken into account when deciding how to deal with your retirement plans.
It is important to understand your options so you can make an educated decision about what is best in your situation. Sometimes you and your spouse will both keep your retirement plans. If one of you has retirement funds that are much greater in value than the other, the one with less may receive other marital assets of comparable value. This will help so there is a fair division of all marital property.
You and your spouse may decide to split the retirement assets. In order to do this, you need to understand the values of all of your accounts and benefits. It can be a confusing process and it is best to speak with a Divorce Attorney who can guide you comfortably through the process.
If you decide to split a retirement account and transfer funds to your spouse, you will need a special Court Order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO. This Order is signed by a Judge and permits the transfer of retirement funds from one spouse’s account to the other’s account.
In some situations, you may decide to give your spouse cash now instead of dividing the retirement funds. This can benefit a spouse who needs cash now to move on with his or her life and it allows you to protect the retirement you have built up.
This is a very emotional time and it is important to have a divorce lawyer on your side who is dedicated to protecting your interests.