If your spouse has a pension plan and you’re thinking about asking for a divorce, you may be concerned about losing that pension. Many couples plan to retire for decades, so you may have been doing a lot of planning based on this retirement account. If getting divorced takes that account away, then you have to rethink your plan or you may not be able to retire.
There is good news, which is that you can use a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to obtain some of the money from the pension plan. This is an official document that is often filed even before the person retires from their job. But it says that, when they do retire, they’re obligated to split the asset with their former spouse.
Why do they have to divide it?
The reason that the spouse has to divide the pension with their ex is that at least some of that pension was earned during their marriage. This turns it into a marital asset.
So the amount of the pension that you get will likely depend on the percentage of it that was earned while you were married. You could then be given half of this total. If you were married for the entire time, then you would get half of the monthly pension payments. But if you were only married for a percentage of the time that your ex worked at that business, then you have to multiply this percentage by your half of the pension plan.
Fighting for what you deserve
You can see that something like this can get to be a bit complex, and it’s an asset that people sometimes overlook. Make sure you know what steps you can take to get what you truly deserve out of the property division process.