Retirement Accounts & Divorce
Attorney Explains Benefits Division
The division of some marital property is fairly simple, but this is not the case when it comes to retirement plans, pensions, and social security. Though retirement accounts can represent a considerable portion of a couple's net worth, they are often overlooked or neglected during the settlement process. This almost always shortchanges the non-employed spouse. The longer a couple has been married and the closer they are to retirement, the more important the division of retirement benefits becomes.
Generally speaking, any funds that are added to a retirement plan during a marriage belong equally to both partners. Federal guidelines govern the division of 401(k) and 403(b) plans while state laws determine the division of IRAs. To ensure that the division of retirement assets is clearly spelled out and legally binding, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is often required.
Not All Lawyers Handle Retirement Accounts!
If you're not careful, it's easy to wind up with an attorney who is not sufficiently skilled at handling the complex division of retirement property. This may not be a problem if you are the primary account holder, but can be a huge problem if you're the non-employee spouse. At Richard L. Morris Co., L.P.A., we help clients in Columbus, Gahanna, and throughout Franklin County divide their retirement accounts equitably during a divorce.
When you have questions, we can help. Call us for answers to these and more:
- Will my portion be paid as a lump sum or as monthly payments?
- Can I afford to wait until retirement to collect?
- If forego my share of retirement benefits, can I be immediately compensated elsewhere?
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