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Divorce and your spouse’s retirement plan

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Divorce

Your spouse has a retirement plan through their employer. It’s part of the reason that they took the job, and the two of you have always planned to use that money to retire. It’s going to be enough to cover your projected costs.

However, you and your spouse have begun talking about the idea of getting divorced. It’s fairly amicable, but you’re starting to worry about your financial situation. 

If your spouse divorces you and then retires five years from now, does that mean they get the entire retirement plan and you get nothing? And, since you were counting on that plan and you haven’t been saving up for your own retirement independently, does this mean that you’re going to have to continue working longer than your ex?

Using a QDRO can help you 

You’ll be glad to know that there is a solution to your situation. Essentially, the percentage of a retirement plan or a pension plan earned while people are married counts as a marital asset. This means it still has to be divided and you deserve a portion of that monthly payment. 

To get it, you can use a QDRO, which is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This document sets everything up in advance, even if your spouse hasn’t retired yet. Once they do, the QDRO stipulates the exact amount that should go to you every month, and your ex has to share that account with you.

You can see how important it is to do this correctly, so be sure you understand what legal options you have. Getting retirement benefits is one of the main things that people tend to overlook when they get divorced. Don’t let that be you.