Protecting Retirement Assets During Divorce (QDRO)

Many people carefully put away money for decades so they can have a comfortable life after retiring. A divorce can put that plan in jeopardy. Disputes over retirement assets are common, especially when one spouse worked while the other stayed home to raise children. This is when you need representation in Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to protect those assets and handle the division of retirement accounts.

How Are Retirement Accounts Handled in Divorce?

Arizona is a community property state. That means that even though your retirement portfolio was built through your financial contributions, your portfolio could be considered community property, and your spouse may have a claim to a portion of its value.

For the spouse who participated in the plan, there are concerns about depletion of the account and also concerns over providing for a future spouse and children. For the nonparticipant spouse, the money in the plan may be his or her only significant source of retirement income.

At the law office of Gary J. Frank, we help clients understand how the property division process will affect retirement assets, including:

  • 401(k) accounts
  • IRAs
  • Deferred compensation plans
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Pensions, including state and military pensions
  • Other types of retirement plans

What About Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)?

A QDRO is a highly specialized and technical document that many retirement plans require to be on file before they will allow a plan’s assets to be distributed. They are intended to prevent an early withdrawal from the accounts, which would carry heavy tax penalties. At our firm, we work with QDRO experts who are highly qualified and experienced in handling complex marital estates. Getting these documents right the first time and serving them on the plan administrator properly is critical to avoid penalties. You can be confident in our ability to get the details correct and protect your retirement funds.

To learn more about how your retirement accounts may be affected during divorce, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our skilled attorneys. Call 602-383-3610 or contact our law office online.

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