Retirement assets, like all other financial assets are typically shared equally following divorce. Parties can agree to divide their assets in any way they choose but if the parties end up in court, the court will likely divide the assets 50/50 or offset them.
In California, retirement assets that were acquired before the parties were married are considered separate property, which means they are not considered in the property to be divided between the parties. A complicated formula may be required to calculate the percentage of the retirement assets which are marital and which are not because the value of the funds fluctuates.
Once parties or the court decide how much each party shall receive of the retirement funds, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is prepared for the court’s signature. Once the court signs the QDRO the attorney responsible for drafting the QDRO sends it to the retirement fund. Each retirement fund has particular requirements for a valid QDRO and each divorce settlement or court order is different which complicates the QDRO process. A QDRO allows retirement assets to be transferred between spouses without any immediate tax consequences.
Getting Legal Help
Experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorney Hal Bartholomew can help you get through your divorce with dignity and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 546-4393.