Dividing Retirement Plans In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many divorcing couples do not realize that retirement plans such as 401Ks and IRAs are marital even if they were started prior to the marriage.

What happens in Palm Beach County, Florida, divorce situations is that the retirement plan is valued at the date of the wedding through the date of filing for divorce.  Any appreciation is divided in half and belongs by virtue of equitable districution marital assets to the non earning spouse.   By way of example, if a husband had a 401K valued at $25,000 on the wedding date, and at time of filing for divorce, the account was worth $68,000, the Wife would be entitled to 68 minus 25 divided by 2, which comes to $21,500. 

A roll over retirement plan would allow the wife to avoid tax consequences so she could preserve the entire amount due her.  Retirement plans are often transferred between spouses by a qualified domestic relations order or QDROs, which is a court order separate from the divorce decree.  It usually has to be approved by a plan administrator from the employer who initiated the retirement plan. 

If you are getting divorced in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

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