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Queens Splitting a Pension in a Divorce

Did you know that one of most significant assets associated with the distribution of property in a marriage may be someone's pension, particularly if you and your spouse had been together for a long period of time and he or she has been contributing to a pension account? This information must be taken seriously by your splitting a pension in a divorce lawyer in Queens.

A splitting a pension in a divorce attorney in Queens will be able to advise you about the various types of pension benefits to which you may be entitled as a divorcing spouse. Couples always split their marital property during a divorce and marital property can have a significant impact because it includes everything earned during the marriage with very few exceptions.

Many working spouses are receiving contribution from an employer or contributing directly to a pension. In the equitable distribution of property process in New York, those spouses will be entitled to include this information on the asset inventory as it may be split.

A Queens splitting a pension in a divorce lawyer can tell you more about how this will have a major influence in your financial future. You need to ensure that not only is this considered in the distribution of property but that the valuation of the account is accurate and that all of the paperwork includes all of the critical details to be passed on to the retirement plan administrator to ensure that you receive these benefits when it is time to do so. Splitting pensions in a divorce is a hot topic and one that is often quite contested between the two parties involved.

However, this must be done with what is known as a qualified domestic relations order or a QDRO. A QDRO is the official document that outlines how much one spouse is to receive from the other paying spouse as it relates to pensions and retirement benefits. Any retirement benefits that were accumulated over the course of the marriage could be classified as marital property and may therefore be subject to division in the equitable division of property process. Without a QDRO however, the divorce decree in and of itself is not enough to split a pension in a divorce.

Only a qualified domestic relations order outlines the exact plans and this piece of paper must be received by the plan administrators for any pension managers to verify that someone else other than the person listed on the account is entitled to receive these benefits. That is why it is important to verify that the paperwork is completed properly the first time around. Far too many people have avoided going through all of the details when the divorce decree initially comes down, assuming that the decree enough will protect them and prompt their spouse to follow through with the necessary paperwork.

If you are not mindful to follow up with the paperwork yourself and to verify that the plan administrator fully understands exactly what the court has ordered, you may find yourself blocked from getting the retirement benefits that you so desperately counted on. One common example of the mistake made in these cases is to not have verbiage inside the QDRO and other associated documents that the requirement benefits should still go to the recipient spouse even if the spouse owning the pension passes away early. This could be a catastrophic financial situation for someone who doesn’t have the paperwork completed correctly, and therefore, should involve a lawyer who has been practicing with qualified domestic relationship orders and other concerns associated with splitting a pension in a divorce.

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