Retirement Assets in Divorce

While divorce is usually an emotional event, there are still many practical issues to take care of. It’s important not to overlook getting a fair share of retirement assets. It’s just as important to realize that these funds are not automatically split in a divorce. A written agreement or divorce court judge divides the retirement assets. Knowing how to protect yourself from losing these assets is the difference between living a comfortable retirement and teetering on the edge of financial disaster once you reach retirement. It’s best to know as much as you can about your spouse’s retirement benefits during the marriage. Then, make sure to hire a Delaware OH divorce attorney at the Lawrence Law Office to protect your right to those benefits.

Retirement benefits come from a variety of employer-provided plans, included 403b plans, 401k plans, pension plans and deferred compensation plans. Keep in mind that your spouse may have IRA or 401k assets hanging around with previous employers if they have changed jobs during the marriage. Even if a couple agree to divorce through mediation, it’s always wise to hire Delaware OH divorce attorney to advise you along the way. If you don’t, it’s likely to cost you more in the long run if you make uninformed decisions. At the Ohio Family Law Office of Lawrence, we work closely with our clients to give them the best advice. Divorce is one of our practice areas, and we have a lot of experience when it comes to securing retirement benefits.

At the Lawrence Law Office, we take a pro-active and preventive approach to retirement benefits. We recommend couples to secure a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) before a completing the final divorce agreement. This is a court order that we can write. It orders the retirement plan to pay a specified share of retirement benefits based on the divorce agreement. If you don’t get a signed QDRO, you may wind up not getting what the divorce decree stated because the documentation wasn’t handled properly.

Retirement benefits may be paid as a single lump sum, monthly pension or some other form. If your spouse dies before you are paid, you may lose benefits if the QDRO doesn’t provide some type of survivor protection. We’re the Ohio Family Law firm that can let you know if the QDRO should provide survivor death benefits.

Without a doubt, divorce is hard. It’s smart to educate yourself ahead of time about your rights to retirement benefits in a divorce. At the Lawrence Law Office, we are always happy to answer any questions. We’ll take all the legal steps needed to best protect your rights.

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