Birmingham Retirement & Pension Division Lawyer
Divorce always has the potential to become a complicated legal matter. However, when retirement and pension accounts are involved, the matter can become much more complex. Many people are worried about whether they will lose a portion of their retirement or pension account and the answer is generally yes. However, whether a retirement or pension account is subject to division, and the amount one is entitled to, are very serious matters. Below, our Birmingham retirement & pension division lawyer explains how this works.
State Law and Retirement and Pension Division
According to state law, a judge may decide to divide retirement and pension accounts if certain conditions are met. A judge may determine that these accounts are subject to division if the couple has been married for at least ten years and during that time, there was an accumulation of benefits. The interest or appreciation on the funds is not subject to division in these cases. Any benefits or funds accumulated before the marriage are also not part of the division process.
Even when retirement and pension accounts are subject to division under the law, the spouse who will receive a portion is still limited in what they can receive. Under state law, a judge cannot award one spouse more than 50 percent of the value accrued during the marriage.
Special Considerations for Retirement and Pension Accounts
There are certain considerations that are very important when dividing a retirement or pension account. The first is that any property divided during divorce must be appropriately valued. Unlike other assets, valuing a retirement or pension account is particularly difficult. It is usually necessary to work with a financial professional who can help you accurately value your benefits.
There are also certain tax implications and penalties associated with retirement and pension accounts. For example, many of these accounts will incur tax liabilities if they are withdrawn before a certain period of time. Additionally, some accounts also have early withdrawal fees that can be quite high.
When a retirement or pension account is divided, you will also have to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). These orders are issued by the court and they name an alternate payee. Still, it is important to note that not all holders of retirement accounts are willing to comply with these court orders. In some instances, they may not even be legally obligated to. In these situations, it is particularly important to speak to a Birmingham retirement and pension division lawyer.
Our Retirement and Pension Division Lawyer in Birmingham Can Help Resolve Your Issue
If you are getting a divorce and know a pension or retirement account will be involved, you need professional legal representation. At Peeples Law, our Birmingham retirement and pension division lawyer can provide it, advise on the amount you may be entitled to, or help you protect what is most valuable to you. Call us now at 205-403-5577 or connect with us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about your legal options.