Know Your Rights Regarding Retirement Accounts Pension Plans In Divorce

Married couples often plan for retirement together. When the decision is made to end the marriage, a new plan must be developed for both spouses. It is a good idea to involve an experienced Sugar Land family law attorney who can protect your rights regarding the division of retirement savings in divorce.

Retirement benefits such as 401(k) accounts, IRA accounts, pensions and Texas Employee Retirement System (ERS) benefits for state employees are community property to the extent that these benefits are accumulated during the marriage. As such, they are subject to division in the event of divorce. The future earnings of the accumulated assets are also factored into the valuation process.

Your Long-Term Financial Health Is At Stake

Retirement accounts that were created or funded during a marriage are treated as joint property and subject to property division laws. Any divorce settlement agreement should directly address exactly how the assets will be split and how the money should be transferred.

Dividing a pension plan can be even more complex. It requires a court-ordered Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that is signed by both individuals and sent to the pension plan administrator. Once executed by the court, the QDRO provides the alternate payee (ex-spouse) with an ownership stake in his or her former spouse's pension plan by creating a separate, individual account in that plan.

A pension can be divided by splitting the actual monthly payouts at the time of retirement or by compensating the nonworking spouse with other assets worth his or her share of the pension's lump sum value.

Don't Take Chances With Your Financial Well-Being

At the Law Office of Michael D. Tracton, P.C., in Sugar Land, Texas, I offer more than 35 years of experience advocating for individuals in the full spectrum of family law matters, including the division of pensions and retirement accounts. The law firm's team of legal assistants brings even more family law experience to the table.

If you have questions for an experienced, aggressive Sugar Land division of retirement and pension lawyer, call 281-201-1481 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. I can assess the facts of your case and provide a straightforward assessment of what you can expect regarding the division of retirement accounts and other property.