Dividing Retirement in Divorce
Ready to Help You Protect Your Retirement
Most spouses plan for retirement together. One may give up their own career in order to take care of the home and to raise their children. Together, the couple may decide to utilize the working spouse's retirement benefits for both individuals. The stay-at-home spouse may have based his or her own future retirement needs on this assertion and agreement. This presents a unique challenge when it comes to divorce and marital property division.
In a divorce, property division can be one of the most complex aspects, particularly if you are facing a high asset divorce. If you are about to go through a divorce and you have questions about how retirement benefits will be divided, our firm can assist you. The Bez Law Firm, P.C. is a family law firm that has been serving clients for many years. We are dedicated to achieving positive results for our clients, working hard to protect their rights.
Contact a Roseville division of retirements attorney from our team for additional information about the services we provide, including representation in divorces involving complex property division at (916) 512-8944 today.
California Property Division Laws
California is a community property state. Every state has its own laws when it comes to property division, but California's community property laws ensure that all assets and debts obtained over the course of the marriage are subject to equal division between the spouses if that marriage ends. Separate property is property obtained by one party before or after the marriage.
The marital estate includes:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts including checking accounts and saving accounts
- Joint businesses / corporations
- Stocks and bonds
- Retirement benefits
This marital estate or "community estate" may also include retirement benefits. If you and your spouse can arrange the terms of your property division independently, you should not need to go to court. If you are unable to reach a consensus, the court will decide how your property should be divided.
Can Retirement Plans Be Divided in California?
The short answer is: Yes. If the retirement benefits are considered community property, they are subject to equal division. However, the court may need to issue special orders so as to ensure that retirement benefits are properly divided. Some retirement plans will not be divided unless a special order is issued to the retirement plan administrator called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
Retirement plans that require the issuance of a QDRO in a marital property division include:
- 401(k) plans
- 403(b) plans
- 457 plans
- Tax-sheltered annuities
- Business-defined benefit / pension plans
- Employee stock ownership plans
- Money purchase plans
- Thrifty savings plans
- Restricted stock options
You will not need a QDRO in order to divide Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), government retirement plans (including military pensions, but need an MPDO), and deferred annuities.
California retirement benefits are usually divided using the "Time Rule Formula." This takes into consideration the time worked over the course of the marriage and the time the retirement plan holder was employed. In some cases, other formulas may be used.
Discuss Your Case with a Qualified Rocklin Attorney Today
Our team at the Bez Law Firm, P.C. is proud to serve clients in Placer County who trust us with their complex cases. We seek fair results for our clients. Property division can be one of the most difficult, challenging, and confusing areas of divorce law. Our firm understands how to ensure that your rights are protected. We've been advocating for California families for years. Let our Roseville retirement division attorneys fight for your rights now.
Contact the Bez Law Firm, P.C. at (916) 512-8944 to receive a consultation with our legal team. We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve results.