family law

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James D. Madden & Aruna P. Rodrigo, Family Law Attorneys

How to Divide Retirement in a Divorce

Rancho Cucamonga Property Division Attorney

While there are a number of spouses out there who go through divorce and wonder who will get the car or the house, there are some dissolutions with more complex details. One of these details is how to divide retirement accounts. As individuals build up their retirement savings, they might not be thinking about the possibility of having to split it in the event of divorce. During the divorce process, retirement is divided in the same manner as other assets in property division. It is important to know what to do during this time and having a Rancho Cucamonga divorce lawyer on your side can help you.

Call us today at (909) 992-0188 for a free consultation.

What the Family Code of California Says

According to the Family Code of California, when it comes to property division, assets are divided into two categories: community property and separate property. Community property refers to the assets and earnings acquired while the couple was married. Separate property is considered anything that was owned by one party prior to the marriage or items that were received as a gift specifically for one spouse or inheritances. When it comes to retirement, they are considered benefits in the form of employment compensation and are thus community property. Division of retirement factors in all forms of plans.

The types of retirement plans that can be divided in family court include, but are not limited to:

  • Simple IRA
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • SEP-IRA
  • SAR-SEP

When it comes to federally controlled retirement plans, these matters are determined by the family court based on a qualified domestic relations order. Simply known as QDRO, these orders must qualify based on a number of things. However, there are various things that are not affected by a QDRO and things the order cannot do. This includes requiring the plan to pay extended benefits not offered by the plan, providing benefits exceeding value of interest, or provide an alternate payee with payment that is payable to a prior alternate payee.

Trust an Experienced Attorney with Your Case

It is important to know that defined benefit plans will likely utilize an actuary, or an experienced, to help determine the current value the plan. They often use an inflation-based estimate from the current moment until the date payments are set to begin. This can be beneficial in making sure that the division of retirement is done properly and accurately.

Our firm has handled numerous cases involving the division of retirement plans and we know how to approach these matters in the most effective manner possible. If you need representation during a divorce and you know that your retirement plan is to be involved, trust our firm to help you. Don’t hesitate to learn your legal options for this stressful and difficult time.

Get a free consultation today. Call (909) 992-0188.

Put Experience on Your Side