Divorce and Retirement Accounts
Division of Retirement Accounts and Pension Plans with QDROs
It’s becoming more and more common for folks over 50 to file for divorce. It’s not just a trend in Texas, but nationwide. “Silver divorces,” have increased even as divorce rates for younger age groups have plateaued or fallen.
Why are couples in their 50s, 60s and even 70s choosing divorce? They want more from life than a not-so-good marriage. And with 20 or 30 years still ahead of them, the time to create that new life is now.
At Albin Oldner Law, PLLC our lawyers are here to help you through the process of filing for divorce. We understand how anxious you may feel if you are or soon will be relying on your retirement account or pension plan to pay for daily expenses. But once you get past this phase and get your budget in line, you will be okay.
In addition, we are a cost-conscious law firm, always working to save our clients from unnecessary expenses and attorneys’ fees. You can have confidence that we will present you with affordable options for resolving the issues of your divorce, including divorce mediation.
Dividing retirement accounts in a divorce can be exhausting and frustrating. Our team of divorce attorneys can help you navigate your pension and divorce. Call Albin Oldner Law at (214) 225-4325 to schedule a visit.
Who Owns the Pension or Retirement Fund?
Every state considers a pension or retirement account a joint asset, even though only one spouse earned it. If you both have an IRA or an employee-sponsored retirement account or pension plan, both accounts are marital assets. This means that you and your spouse can divide both accounts.
But all of the money in a retirement account may not be joint. If you had your retirement account before you were married and then continued to contribute to it, that premarital portion of your account will be considered separate, and the interest on that portion is also separate. Your Albin Oldner Law, PLLC divorce lawyer will bring an accountant to your case to accurately assessing the portion of a retirement plan that is separate versus joint.
Another way in which your retirement account might be protected from property division is if you and your partner signed a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement. Such an agreement would allow each party to retain control over their own retirement assets.
Dividing a Pension Plan Without Penalties
How you put money into and take money out of a retirement account or pension fund has tax consequences so it’s very important that it’s done right. In the case of a pension fund, you will need a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) to transfer funds. A QDRO is a court order telling the pension fund manager that you can access pension funds to pay child support, alimony or for property division at the time of a divorce.
If the pension in question is a military pension, you will need a Military Pension Division Order. If it is a Texas state government employee pension, you will need an ERS QDRO. And, if the retirement account under consideration is an IRA or a SEP account, you do not need a QDRO to access the funds. The funds can simply be transferred, without penalty, into an IRA or SEP account for the receiving partner.
Get Help Navigating Your Divorce Pension Payout Plan Today
Schedule a time to meet with one of our Frisco property division attorneys. We think you’ll enjoy the comfortable, informal atmosphere of our office, and find our lawyers easy to talk to, and ready to explain your legal rights and options.