There’s more to divorce than the emotional toll. In almost every case, there are financial considerations that need to be addressed. Does your spouse have a pension? Are you entitled to any of that money? A pension earned during a marriage is considered a joint asset, so it is very possible that you could get part of it during the divorce. It’s not important that you have a complex understanding of the process, but it’s a good idea to get a family law expert on your side who can work hard to secure your financial future.
Divided at the Time of Divorce
You don’t have to know the nitty gritty about marital assets and how to divide them during a divorce, but an attorney who specializes in divorce and family law can give you some insight on what is and isn’t appropriate in terms of pensions.
In most cases, to be able to get part of your spouse’s pension, it needs to be divided at the time of divorce along with the other marital assets.
In Georgia, contributions made during the marriage by either spouse into any retirement account is subject to equitable division. If the court determines that these assets be split, it will issue a specific court order called the Qualified Domestic Relations Order or QDRO.
This order does put into place that the pension will be divided, but it does not allow a spouse to draw directly from the retirement accounts or pension.
The QDRO establishes that you will receive a portion of the retirement or pension benefits, it does not provide an avenue to take money out without following the rules of the specific accounts. Instead, direct payments can be established.
Know that sometimes the court will award other property or money in lieu of splitting retirement benefits. This provides you the same value but without access to the accounts.
It’s also important to note that you may be entitled to survivor benefits from Social Security after your divorce. This process becomes complicated quickly, so its essential that you discuss your options with a family law expert in Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Atlanta or Cumming.
To learn more about pension benefits and divorce, contact Shaw Law today.