Divorce is a complex financial and legal process, and it requires the division of all marital assets. This includes property saved and set aside for retirement. Whether you have years to go before retirement or you are looking forward to that step in the near future, it is beneficial to understand how the process could affect your future interests.
Dividing certain types of retirement accounts and pension plans is not always easy. It can be difficult to reach a reasonable agreement on fairly dividing these specific assets, and there are strict rules regarding how to access these accounts. Some require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. If you are facing a California divorce, you may find it helpful to seek help regarding a QDRO and what you need to do to protect your interests.
What is a QDRO?
A QDRO is a type of court order that is necessary for the division of some types of retirement accounts. This order allows someone other than the account holder to access and receive money from this account. For example, your spouse may have a retirement account in his or her name, but a QDRO may give you the right to receive money from this account. It may be helpful to understand the following:
- A QDRO allows alternate payees to get their rightful share of marital assets. This can include spouses, children or other beneficiaries.
- Drafting an appropriate QDRO can be a complex process, and it is beneficial to have experienced guidance for this step.
- You will need to have a QDRO for any retirement plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
The choices and decisions you make during divorce will impact your life for years to come. It is beneficial to think carefully about your agreements and how they could impact your life down the road.
A strong future can start today
A divorce will have lingering effects on your life, but you can take steps today to protect your long-term interests for the future. It is possible to make choices during divorce that allow you to have a strong and prosperous retirement and future.
If you have concerns about a QDRO or what your divorce will mean for your golden years, it could be helpful to start with a complete evaluation of your case. This will allow you to learn about and understand your legal options as you face the end of your marriage.