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San Antonio Retirement Asset Division Attorney

San Antonio property division attorney for retirement accounts and pensions

Retirement Accounts, Pensions, and QDROs

Couples who choose to divorce will need to address many different issues related to their finances, their property, and their debts. Gaining a full understanding of these matters can sometimes be difficult, especially if you are dealing with other divorce-related issues, such as handling the emotional fallout that comes from the end of a long-term relationship, making changes to living arrangements, and resolving disputes regarding child custody. Certain types of property-related issues, including those related to retirement savings and benefits, may seem less important, especially if they will not affect you for many years. However, handling these matters correctly can be crucial for protecting your financial future.

When addressing complex property issues during your divorce, you will want to make sure you are represented by an attorney who can help you understand the laws that affect you and the requirements you will need to meet. Brandon Wong & Associates provides strong and effective representation in divorce cases, and we can guide you through the divorce process and make sure you properly address matters related to retirement plans, investments, and other financial concerns. We will work to help you reach agreements on these and other issues, and if necessary, we will be fully prepared to advocate for you in the courtroom.

Dividing Retirement Accounts and Pensions

For many people, retirement savings accounts or other retirement plans can be valuable assets. Over a person's career, they may put a significant amount of money away that they plan to use to support themselves after their retirement. In many cases, employers who provide retirement plans will match a certain percentage of an employee's contributions to an account. Some employees may also be eligible for pension benefits that will be paid to them on an ongoing basis after they retire. Any contributions to a retirement account or other benefits earned during a couple's marriage will be community property that must be considered during a couple's divorce.

Couples may choose to divide retirement accounts or allocate pension benefits in a variety of ways. In some cases, each spouse may keep their own separate retirement accounts while distributing other assets in a way that allows both parties to receive a fair and just share of the marital estate. In other situations, the funds in an account may be divided between the spouses. It is important to follow the correct procedures when transferring funds from an account.

Most retirement accounts only allow withdrawals to be made after a person reaches retirement age, and penalties may apply if money is withdrawn before then. Taxes will also usually be applied to funds that are withdrawn. To avoid these issues, a couple can use a court order known as a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. This order will be provided to the administrator of a retirement plan, and it may state that a certain percentage of funds or a specific dollar amount will be withdrawn and transferred to the other spouse. That spouse can then place the funds in their own retirement account.

A QDRO may also be used to allocate pension benefits. The value of these benefits can sometimes be difficult to determine, since they will usually be based on the income a person earns at the time of their retirement. However, a person's ex-spouse may be entitled to receive a certain percentage of the pension benefits that are paid out, and a QDRO will provide a pension plan administrator with the proper instructions for making payments to an alternate payee.

Contact Our Bexar County Retirement Asset Division Lawyers

Understanding how to address retirement benefits during the divorce process can sometimes be difficult. Our attorneys can provide guidance in these matters, and we ensure that our clients' best interests are protected in the decisions made as part of a divorce settlement or through courtroom litigation. To learn how we can help you resolve financial issues correctly while ensuring that you will have the resources you need in the future, contact us and set up an initial consultation by calling 210-201-3832.

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