Division of Retirement Benefits

There are a number of different types of retirement accounts, such as:
  • Pension funds (both defined benefit and defined contribution)
  • 401(k)s
  • 403(b)s
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • SEP-IRAs
  • Roth IRAs

As this list suggests, the world of retirement plans is complicated and diverse, and a retirement account may be a couple’s most valuable asset.

Some people mistakenly think that if their name is on the account, the funds belong to them. However, money saved during the marriage usually belongs to both parties, regardless of the name in which it is held. Money saved prior to the marriage may remain your separate property depending on the manner in which you held the money during the marriage. An attorney can explain these, and other, rules to you so that you understand your rights and obligations.

Skilled at Dividing Retirement Assets

With so many kinds of retirement plans, the rules for dividing them vary from instrument to instrument. A skilled and experienced family lawyer will determine the manner in which each of these accounts and plans should be divided.

One way in which many retirement plans are divided is through a legal document known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). The QDRO process can be quite technical, requiring the approval of plan administrators prior to processing. It is invaluable to have an experienced attorney shepherd you through that process until the division is complete.

Effecting Division that is Just and Fair

Retirement assets can be difficult to value. For example, the value of a pension plan, on paper, may not represent that plan’s actual present value. At Polidori Franklin Monahan & Beattie, L.L.C., we have a team of skilled experts to help value and divide retirement assets, so that you are informed concerning the true nature of each asset.

Retirement benefits are often the single largest asset in a divorce. Much is at stake in dividing them. When you have a problem requiring thoughtful division, call the Denver, Colorado, attorneys at Polidori Franklin Monahan & Beattie, L.L.C. at 303 936 3300 or contact us online.

To Top