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Division of Retirement Accounts


Division of Retirement accounts is very important

If you are going through a divorce and you have retirement plans, it is almost certain that the court will order a division of retirement accounts as part of your divorce settlement. These plans include your 401(k), IRA, pension plan and profit sharing. In California, your Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage decree states how both spouses retirement accounts will be divided, but unless you then move forward to have your attorney create what is known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), the actual division of these accounts will not occur. These orders are can be highly complex and require the knowledge of an attorney who has a good understanding of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) law as the order must be in compliance with this law. He must also be knowledgeable about the requisites of the specific retirement plans. If the QDRO is not written and presented to the court, very serious consequences may result.

The spouse who was not the employee may:

  • Lose survivor benefits
  • Lose total interest in the plan
  • Be forced to pay huge taxes on his or her share of the plan

To protect your assets, you need to hire a qualified attorney to prepare the QDRO on your behalf. The QDRO will legally provide that the non-employee ex-spouse receives either an established amount of payments, or a specific percentage of the total amount in the employee spouse’s retirement plan accounts. It also allows that former spouse to withdraw the agreed upon portion of the employee’s retirement plan and roll it over into an IRA, which is a tax free individual retirement account, so there will not be any tax liability.

Contact the office of Gordon G. Meyer, a Certified Family Law Specialist, who has 43 years of experience in Family Law cases that involve division of Retirement accounts.

Call 619-855-4070 for an appointment today.

Serving the communities of Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Ewscondido and North San Diego county.