How will your pension be split during a divorce?

| Apr 28, 2021 | blog, family law |

As you go through your divorce proceedings in New Jersey, you’re likely going to have a lot of questions about what happens to your marital assets. From your family home to your pension plan, you’ll need to understand what the court sees as marital property and separate property. Since New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, it’s not always best to assume that you and your spouse will both be entitled to 50% of the value of each asset.

Determine your marital pension benefits

Property division during a divorce all starts with understanding what the actual value of each asset is. With respect to a pension plan, contributions could have been made prior to the marriage. If this is the case, these premarital contributions and benefits would be considered separate property that is owned by the employee. When calculating the value of the pension plan, you’ll need to determine the total of all the benefits earned only throughout the marriage.

Your spouse must submit a QDRO

When it comes to items like retirement accounts, they are not automatically divided up during a divorce. Rather, your spouse would have to make a particular request for their share of whatever the pension plan is. This request must be made in a formal document known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO for short.

Once you get over the emotional impact of making the decision to undergo divorce, it’s time to break down how you’re going to divide everything up. When it comes to your pension plan, it’s likely that your spouse is entitled to some of its benefits. By understanding how the benefits are split and what needs to happen for your spouse to claim those benefits, you can get through the divorce settlement process much quicker than most.