Navigating Divorce Can Be Challenging
Learn the implications of getting a divorce while being retired. Choose from any of the topics below.
- Considering a Divorce During Retirement?
- Social Security Benefits
- Pension Benefits
- Other Assets
- How Can I Keep My Retirement Benefits When I Divorce?
- Speak With a Legal Paraprofessional Regarding a Divorce
Considering a Divorce During Retirement?
Retirement is often viewed as a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor. However, for some individuals, it may also be a time of transition and change, such as the decision to divorce.
Divorce can significantly impact one’s retirement benefits and financial security, especially for those who are already retired.
In this article, we will discuss the impact of divorce on retirement benefits, including Social Security, pensions, and other assets.
Social Security Benefits
Social Security benefits are a crucial source of income for many retirees. However, divorce can affect an individual’s eligibility for Social Security benefits and the number of benefits they receive.
- Eligibility: An individual who is divorced may still be eligible for Social Security benefits based on their own work record, or they may be eligible for benefits based on their former spouse’s work record. The eligibility for benefits based on a former spouse’s work record is only available if the marriage lasted at least 10 years.
- Amount of Benefits: The number of benefits an individual receives may be affected by divorce. If an individual is eligible for benefits based on their own work record, their earnings history will determine the number of benefits. If an individual is eligible for benefits based on their former spouse’s work record, their earnings history will determine the number of benefits.
Pensions are another vital source of income for retirees. However, divorce can also have a significant impact on pension benefits.
- Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO): A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a legal order that is used to divide a pension in a divorce. A QDRO is used to divide a pension plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and it typically requires the plan administrator’s approval. The QDRO is a separate document from the divorce decree and must meet specific requirements to be valid.
- Impact on Benefits: The impact of a QDRO on pension benefits will depend on the specific terms of the order and the type of pension plan. For example, a QDRO may provide for a lump-sum distribution or a specific percentage of the benefits to be paid to the former spouse.
Divorce can also impact other assets, such as retirement accounts, investment portfolios, and real estate.
- Retirement Accounts: Retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, can be divided in a divorce. The process for dividing these assets will depend on the type of account and the specific terms of the divorce settlement.
- Investment Portfolios: Investment portfolios, such as stocks and mutual funds, can also be divided in a divorce. The process for dividing these assets will depend on the specific terms of the divorce settlement.
- Real Estate: Real estates, such as a primary residence or vacation home, can also be divided in a divorce. The process for dividing these assets will depend on the specific terms of the divorce settlement.
Additional Helpful Resources
- Social Security Administration: The Social Security Administration provides information and resources on Social Security benefits, including information on eligibility and the impact of divorce.
- Pension Rights Center: The Pension Rights Center provides information and resources on pension benefits, including information on Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) and the impact of divorce.
- American Bar Association: The American Bar Association provides information and resources on the legal aspects of divorce, including information on dividing
How Can I Keep My Retirement Benefits When I Divorce?
When it comes to divorce and retirement benefits, it is essential to understand how the law applies to your situation. You should consult a legal professional or financial advisor to protect your rights.
Generally speaking, you can keep your retirement benefits when you divorce if they were acquired during the marriage.
The court may order that the benefits be divided between the two spouses, depending on state laws. Additionally, you may also be entitled to a portion of your spouse’s retirement benefits depending on their age and other factors.
Lastly, make sure to keep records of all pension plans and investments in case they need to be used as evidence in court. Taking these steps allows you to maintain ownership of your retirement benefits after a divorce.
Tip: If you seek information about a divorce, consider using a much more affordable alternative to a family lawyer and speak with a legal paraprofessional.
Speak with a Legal Paraprofessional Regarding a Divorce
A step that can be taken if you see yourself wanting a divorce is to contact an experienced divorce paraprofessional at De Novo Law. The team of legal paraprofessionals will be able to concentrate on the case at hand so that you can easily make significant decisions concerning your divorce and retirement benefits.
Call us today at 480-725-2200 to schedule your consultation.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held. The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.
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