Retirement and Divorce
What are the effects of retirement and divorce? A dissolution has consequences for the retirement packages of the parties. In general, benefits such as 401k plans, IRAs, military pensions, veteran’s educational benefits, Employee Stock Option plans, etc., are community property. This is a complicated area of law and Riverside and San Bernardino divorce attorney Julian Fox can help you navigate it.
Social Security payments, Railroad Retirement benefits, Compensation for Military Injuries, and Worker’s Compensation Disability Insurance payments are not generally considered community property.
The petition, marital settlement agreement, and final judgment should all include language as to how the pension should be divided.
Sometimes the divorce and retirement issues will be resolved by one spouse waiving the benefits in exchange for other property. Other times, there will be a monetary buy out of the benefits by one party.
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (also known as a QDRO) is necessary if you want to transfer a share of one party’s retirement to the other party. QDROs should only be done by highly experienced family attorneys in order to protect the divorcing parties’ legal and financial rights.
Pension issues are not always cut and dry. Pensions are often worth more than they appear on paper. It is advisable to hire a pension actuary or appraiser to evaluate a pension’s worth. This can be worth far more than the few hundred dollars it costs you up front.
Retirement is a tricky area of family law. Call a Riverside and San Bernardino divorce attorney Julian Fox at 877-369-5294 to help you sort out your retirement and divorce issues.
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