Prince William County Lawyer Handling Division of Retirement Assets in Divorce
When a couple divorces, part of dividing the marital property includes dividing the retirement benefits the spouses have earned. Disputes often arise if one spouse worked throughout the majority of the marriage and the other did not.
Attorney Robert H. Klima has more than 30 years of experience handling divorce and related issues for clients in Prince William and Fauquier counties. He understands the importance of dividing retirement benefits fairly, because they are often the most valuable form of property a couple has. Pensions and retirement accounts are very complex, and you can trust that Mr. Klima will use his extensive experience and knowledge to explain your options and protect your rights.
Have you considered mediation as a way to resolve your conflict? This process can keep you out of court, sparing you the expense and stress that can come from protracted legal battles and litigation. Mr. Klima has successfully mediated family law disputes for over 30 years and can help you determine whether your situation is a good fit for the process.
How Are Retirement Benefits Divided?
Virginia law grants each spouse the right to receive up to one-half of the marital share of the retirement benefits of the other spouse. If each spouse has benefits, but the value is different, an offset may be negotiated by your lawyer. In order to officially and properly divide retirement benefits, it is necessary to file a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO.
What Is a QDRO?
A QDRO is a court order requiring a retirement plan administrator to distribute the benefits of the divorcing spouse. These are highly complex documents, and must be put in place during the divorce, or you will lose your right to a share of your spouse’s benefits. In addition, the QDRO must be approved by the administrator of the retirement plan before it is entered by the court.
Some of the retirement plans that require a QDRO include:
- Thrift savings plans
- Defined benefit pension plans
- Defined contribution plans such as 401(k) accounts
- Employee stock ownership plans
- Certain profit-sharing and stock purchase plans
Robert Klima can clearly explain the QDRO process to you and prepare an effective one on your behalf. His thoroughness and attention to detail will be of great value as he helps you navigate this complex area of family law.
Contact a Prince William County Divorce Settlement Attorney
Mr. Klima represents individuals and families living in communities in Prince William and Fauquier counties, including Manassas, Woodbridge, Gainesville, Haymarket, Bristow, Warrenton and surrounding counties.