As previously discussed in our recent blogs last month on property division in the context of a divorce, property of the spouses is classified as either marital property or separate property. Marital property is subject to equitable division between the spouses whereas separate property is excluded from the marital estate. Typically, the spouses’ property consists of real estate, household furnishings, vehicles, and bank accounts, i.e., checking, savings, and retirement accounts. What if one or both of the spouses have an employer-sponsored retirement plan or pension that is considered a marital asset?
One of the most valuable marital assets in a divorce could be an employer-sponsored retirement plan or pension. The appropriate mechanism to equitably divide a retirement plan or pension is known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (“QDRO”). A QDRO is a special agreement between the spouses that governs dividing the distributions of the retirement plan or pension. This can be a complicated process since the pension administrator must approve the terms of the QDRO prior to seeking court approval.
If you are contemplating divorce and either you or your spouse participates in an employer-sponsored pension or retirement plan, it is essential that you consult with an experienced family law attorney. For more information on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, please contact Simpson Legal Group, LLC, at (712)256-9899.