California Pension Attorneys
While division of the home, the car and the bank accounts is certainly critical, it is important not to overlook retirement accounts. These can be extremely valuable. They are also subject to very specific rules when it comes to division. At the Law Office of Michael L. Seidman, we have a solid understanding of these rules. With more than 30 years of experience on our side, we know how to handle the division of all retirement benefits in your marital estate.
Call us at 661-324-2515 or contact us by e-mail to schedule a free consultation. We are lawyers dedicated to offering the legal support and guidance you need to protect your immediate and long-term interests.
Retirement Benefits Are Subject to Division
Any contribution to a retirement plan, pension plan or any similar plan during the years of marriage is considered community property. This includes funds contributed by the employee and funds contributed by the employer. These accounts are subject to division, which catches many people by surprise during the divorce process.
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
The way retirement benefits are divided depends on the nature of the benefits. Different rules apply, depending on whether they are benefits offered through a private employer, through the state or federal government, or through the military.
In many cases, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is required under a Federal law called ERISA. Depending on the type of plan being divided, the title of the order may technically be something other than a QDRO, even though they are often informally referred to as QDROs. For example, if the plan being divided is for military retired pay, the order is called a Qualifying Court Order. For Federal civil service plans, the order is known as a Court Order Acceptable for Processing for FERS/CSRS retirement plans or a Retirement Benefits Court Order for a Federal Thrift Savings Plan. If the plan being divided is an IRA, the Order is called a Transfer Incident to a Divorce.
While all of these different types of orders are similar, there are significant differences. The order must be written carefully to ensure that you receive your proper share of the retirement plan. The rules that apply to QDROs and other matters related to division of retirement accounts can be extremely technical and complex. We are well-versed in these rules, so you can be confident in our ability to handle this aspect of property division in a manner that is in your best interests.
Free Consultation About Division of Retirement Benefits
Call 661-324-2515 or e-mail our law office to arrange a free consultation with a Bakersfield retirement benefits attorney.