Are you worried that your retirement won’t be possible after divorce? Perhaps you haven’t saved enough to retire because your spouse has a retirement plan through their work, or perhaps they have a pension plan. Either way, that’s the money you were assuming you would get to retire on, and now you’re not going to get it because you’re ending the marriage.
But do you still deserve some of that money? Or is that an asset that only your spouse gets to use?
You may have a claim and a QDRO can help you get it
In many cases, a retirement plan or a pension plan counts as a marital asset. The idea is that it is a benefit that is earned during the marriage, just like other compensation for employment.
If your spouse hasn’t yet retired, they may not be getting that money yet, but you can still set up a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) so that you are allotted a percentage of those future payments.
Exactly how this is divided up depends on a lot of factors, but a common example is to say that you get half of your spouse’s pension for the time that you were married. So, if you were married for half of the time that they were earning that pension, and you get 50% of those earnings, then the QDRO would give you a payment of 25% of the total.
This may not entirely cover your retirement as it would have if you were still married, but it can be significant and it does not mean that you get nothing at all just because you got divorced before your spouse retired. As such, it’s very important that you understand the legal steps needed to make all of this possible.