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Divorce and allocating retirement plans

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2018 | Divorce

The allocation of retirement assets can be a significant source of contention during a divorce. Ohio residents also have to be mindful of the manner in which they go about dividing such assets when they have finally reached divorce settlement terms. The various types of workplace retirement assets are governed by different rules, and dividing them in the wrong way can result in hefty taxes and fines.

In order for an ex-spouse to obtain the portion of their spouse’s workplace retirement plan to which they are entitled, it will be necessary to complete a qualified domestic relations order. A QDRO will be necessary whether the plan is a conventional pension plan or a 401(k) plan.

Even though the QDRO is based on the information provided in a divorce decree, it is a separate document. Individuals who require QDROs should make sure they obtain the assistance of an attorney who has significant experience with these court orders.

The attorney should contact the administrator of the plan to make sure that the correct actions are taken in regard to the division of the pension plan benefits or 401(k) funds. The document should be carefully reviewed before it is filed with the court to ensure that the terms of the divorce agreement are reflected in the language of the court order. A separate QDRO should be completed for every retirement account that has to be divided.

A divorce attorney may advocate on behalf of a client who is embroiled in disputes regarding the division of assets. The lawyer may help locate assets hidden by the other party and potentially litigate to ensure that their client receives a fair portion of the marital assets.