Pensions and Divorce

While you are married, it is only natural for you and your spouse to plan for retirement together. Unfortunately, if divorce occurs, it can make things complicated. Have you recently retired and are going through a divorce? Do you want to find out what happens to your pension during the divorce? If you answered yes to these questions, stop by Simonetti & Associates on Long Island where our main focus is to answer all of your questions and concerns and assure that your legal process runs as smoothly as possible.

Under divorce laws of every state, a pension earned during a marriage is considered to be a joint asset or the mutual property of both spouses. Therefore in most cases, the pension is split 50-50, but there are some instances where the pension could be split differently depending on a number of circumstances. In order to receive a portion of your spouse’s pension, you must ask for your share at the time of the divorce.

On Long Island, you must first receive a special court order called a “qualified domestic relations order” or QDRO. A QDRO will instruct the plan administrator on how to pay the non-employee spouse’s share of the plan benefits. The plan will make sure that the court order does not require the plan to pay you in a form or at a time that would not otherwise be permitted under the plan. The QDRO must be completed and presented to the pension plan well before your divorce is finalized, otherwise, the whole process will become more complicated.

If you are going through a divorce and have concerns in regards to you or your spouse’s pension, call Simonetti & Associates on Long Island at 516-248-5600. We aim to help you with your divorce to make things as simple and easy as possible.