How retirement benefits are divided in a divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2022 | family law |

A major issue during a New Jersey divorce concerns retirement benefits. You look forward to these benefits as a way to sustain yourself after you retire. It’s only natural that you want to retain them rather than lose them in a divorce. Here is a look at how these benefits may be divided.

What is a qualified domestic relations order?

There is an approved method in place to divide a legally defined benefit plan after a divorce. This takes the form of an order known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Most instances of official post-divorce property division will take place in this manner.

The order will be signed off by the court. It will then direct the administrator of the retirement plan to pay a predetermined portion to the former spouse. These payments will be scheduled to commence as soon as the beneficiary of the plan formally retires.

The court may decide to make use of the principle of equitable division. If this is the case, a portion of the money that you have in a 401(k) will be transferred to a similar account held by your former spouse. As long as the account in question is similar, the funds are not subject to taxation.

How can you negotiate an equitable amount?

The retirement pension and other benefits that you have earned are crucial to your quality of life. This is an issue that will still be present long after your divorce is finalized.

It will be your main concern to see to it that any division of your hard-earned retirement benefits will be an equitable one. You can make sure of this by speaking to a financial advisor in order to determine the real value of your benefits and other assets.