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Retirement Benefits

Dividing Government Pensions in a Divorce when a QDRO won’t work

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Most divorce practitioners are aware that dividing a pension or qualified retirement asset as part of the property division requires a few extra steps. Because retirement plans are governed by federal law (as opposed to state divorce law) a standard divorce judgment simply will not do the trick. Instead, the payee of these benefits must submit a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which is essentially a special type of court order which conforms to state and federal law as well as the terms of the Marital Settlement Agreement and the specific directives of the plan in question. Most divorce lawyers outsource this task to a QDRO attorney who specializes in the drafting of these types of orders.

However, problems arise when the pension that is referenced in the divorce agreement is provided by… Continue reading