3 March 2011 0 Comments

Divorce and your husband’s pension

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In a California divorce, all property and assets are divided.  Did you know that your husband’s pension is considered marital property – subject to distribution in a divorce? 

The court has options on what to do.  It may award the entire pension to your husband and order him to buy-out your interest.  Or, it may divide the plan itself between both parties, giving each one a percentage interest which is paid out upon distribution of the pension benefits at retirement. 

A buy-out avoids the possibility of ongoing court involvement until retirement and courts are more included to order one.  Before anything is decided, the pension plan must be valued.  However, the court has the discretion to order a different valuation – depending on the circumstances in the case. 

Congress has passed a law that requires pension plans to distribute to a divorced spouse a percentage of the monthly benefits payable to the employee.  The law also allows the entry of court orders, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders.  The orders require the administrator of the plan to send an addition check to the former spouse. 

If your former spouse is about to retire and there is a pension plan involved, contact an experienced Riverside County Family Law attorney because you may be losing out on benefits you are entitled to.

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