Protect Your Retirement Benefits in Divorce

Often the largest community asset in a marriage is retirement benefits. It is a common mistake to overlook the importance and value of retirement plan benefits, and to focus instead on more tangible assets like the house, vehicle and furnishings.

Retirement Plans and Divorce: Doing the Math

If you or your spouse have CalPERS, CalSTRS, or other pension benefits or a 401K, 403b, 457 or other deferred compensation account from employment during marriage, then at least some of those retirement assets may be divisible as community property in divorce or legal separation, even if the payments are not yet vested or payable.

The method of determining the community and/or separate property interests in retirement benefits depends upon the type of plan (defined benefit or defined contribution), and requires knowledge of the applicable law. Therefore, it's important to seek the help of an experienced attorney to ensure that you receive the retirement assets to which you are entitled.

Similarly, the help of a skilled lawyer is critical when drafting or negotiating the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO or DRO) dividing the plan according to your specifications.

An Attorney Solving Complex Financial Issues

I have nearly two decades of experience in family law. One of my strengths in this area of law is helping clients clarify and resolve complex financial issues, including those related to dividing retirement benefits in divorce.

I know which measures to take to protect client interests, including early joiner of retirement plans and use of temporary QDROs in judgments. If a certain issue can most appropriately be addressed by an outside expert, I will refer clients to those experts to ensure that the issue is resolved in the most beneficial way possible.

Call for More Information

The Law Office of Linda D. States is located in Sacramento, and I serve clients throughout Sacramento, Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties and beyond. To learn how I can protect your financial future in divorce, call me at 916-426-9119 or fill out my online contact form.