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Using QDROs To Preserve Retirement Plans After Divorce

If a couple going through a divorce has been married for decades, they have likely been saving for retirement. While divorce represents a major change to the spouses’ plans, each of them still hopes to stop working someday and enjoy retirement.

Property Division And Retirement Savings

Just like any other marital asset, retirement accounts are subject to equitable division in divorce. This includes any 401(k)s, Roth IRAs and other employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement in place, you and your spouse will have to find a way to divide those funds.

But unlike other marital property, pensions and retirement accounts may not be divisible until retirement. A divorce decree on its own cannot guarantee that your spouse’s employer will provide you your agreed-upon share. That is where a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) comes in.

What Is A QDRO?

A QDRO is a type of court order that can be included in your divorce decree. It details how retirement funds from one ex’s pension or accounts will be deposited into the other’s. This is especially useful in situations where one spouse was the primary income earner and receiver of employer-sponsored accounts.

Not every attorney is familiar with drafting QDROs. A mistake in the order can lead to unpleasant surprises in the future. When searching for a divorce lawyer to represent you, it is important to ask if they have experience with QDROs – especially if you are in your 30s, 40s or above and there are substantial retirement savings to split up.

The attorneys of Clark Law PLLC are all experienced with drafting QDROs for our clients. If you would benefit from one as part of your settlement, we will make sure your QDRO is accurate and solidifies your rights and obligations so you can focus on enjoying retirement.

Find Out If A QDRO Is Right For You

For more information about property division, retirement savings and QDROs, contact Clark Law PLLC at 603-473-4338 or by sending us an email. Our office is in Manchester, New Hampshire, and we serve the surrounding communities.