When spouses divorce, they must divide their marital assets, including pension plans. However, only the contributions you made to the plan during your marriage will be subject to division. The contributions you made before your trip down the aisle and after separation are considered separate property. Dividing pension plans can be a complex process, so it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate it.
What it Takes to Divide a Pension Plan
Pension plans are as unique as the individuals who contribute to them, which is why dividing them can be such a complicated ordeal. The most common obstacle with dividing pension plans is that it can be challenging to assess the future value of the community property portion of the plan. Therefore, you will need an expert to prepare an order that provides the Plan Administrator with instructions on how to calculate each parties interest in the plan.
Other factors that can impact the value of a pension plan and how much each spouse will receive include:
- If the pension plan is a defined benefit plan
- If the pension plan is a defined contribution plan
In some cases, pension plans must be joined as a party in the divorce. Otherwise, the court cannot make a ruling that splits the pension plan’s benefits between both parties. Moreover, although pension plans are treated as community property in a divorce, they may not necessarily be split in half. The courts require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to determine how the plan will be divided.
To overcome the complications you may face during this process, consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney.
Discuss the Details of Your Divorce with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today!
If you are planning to divorce your spouse and have a pension fund, you should retain the skilled legal services of a knowledgeable family law attorney as soon as possible. At Kraft Miles, A Law Corporation, our legal team is backed by more than 60 years of combined experience and a commitment to helping clients protect their interests. We understand how difficult it can be to dissolve a marriage and will do what is necessary to ensure the process goes smoothly for you.
Reach out to our law office today at (818) 462-5076 to set up a consultation with a member of our team.