Among the many financial matters requiring resolution in a California divorce, division of 401(k) plans, other qualified retirement accounts, military pensions and other retirement assets is sometimes the most challenging.
Until they speak with an experienced lawyer, most people do not understand the complex legal requirements associated with dividing retirement accounts, pensions and other such assets — and some make the mistaken assumption that assets they have accumulated independently in their careers will remain theirs alone.
Knowledge Across the Spectrum of Benefits, Retirement Plans and Divorce
On a basic level, it is important to recognize that — like all other money and property accumulated during marriage — most retirement assets are subject to equal division between divorcing spouses under California law. When it comes to this very important aspect of your divorce, however, counsel from a lawyer with extensive relevant experience is essential because:
- The required legal steps for dividing retirement assets and other deferred compensation depend directly on the type of plan and whether it is administered by a corporate or government entity.
- Most non-government benefit plans require preparation of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) before actual division can take place — and variations in how a QDRO is written may factor into access to funds and other important issues.
- Division of military pensions and other retirement benefits is governed by federal law, including key stipulations about the length of the marriage.
Consult Orange County Attorneys Who Emphasize Diligence and Efficiency
Arriving at a settlement agreement and even obtaining a judgment for division of funds is often not enough to wrap up matters associated with retirement accounts in divorce. It is critical to work with a lawyer who has prepared and reviewed many QDROs and other types of orders essential for protection of client interests.
At The Law Offices of Burch & Coulston, LLP, you can work with Board-Certified Family Law Specialists respected for their knowledge of complex property division, QDROs and military benefits issues. For proven protection of your financial interests in divorce, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at our Irvine law offices.