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Can I Get Half My Spouse’s Pension in a Divorce?

Late Life Divorce and Dividing Pensions

Divorcing after being married for many years comes with a unique set of challenges when dividing assets. It can be difficult to figure out who gets what, and the transition can be arduous. One of the most common questions that older divorcing couples have is, “Can I get half my spouse’s pension in a divorce?” The answer is yes. Here’s why.

How Are Pensions Split in a Nevada Divorce?

Since Nevada is a community property state, the property you’ve accumulated during the marriage is jointly owned by you and your spouse for investments like 401Ks, IRAs, cash-value life insurance plans, annuities, and pensions. These assets are split 50/50 under Nevada laws. Since each divorce case is unique, and pensions can hold a substantial amount of money, it is possible to work out an agreement in which one spouse can keep a more significant portion of the pension in exchange for other property such as a home. Before a couple can split pensions legally, it must be outlined in a divorce decree. Once a divorce decree is issued, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be prepared and submitted to the courts. Read on to learn more about the process involving a QDRO.

What is a QDRO?

A QDRO is a legal document used to divide retirement plans in a divorce or separation to avoid tax ramifications. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines a QDRO as:

“A QDRO is a judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan to pay child support, alimony or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant.”

QDROs are highly complex, with many different requirements to be met and provisions included. Under Federal law, A QDRO must be reviewed by an administrator of the retirement plan to determine that the QDRO meets all qualifications. Making mistakes in the process can be costly. For this reason, it’s critical to seek an experienced lawyer who understands the QDRO preparation process and qualifications.

Contact Us Today for a Case Review With Our Divorce Law Team

Divorcing later in life when you’ve accumulated assets throughout your marriage can be complicated when determining how these assets will be split. Our team at Ford & Friedman are here to answer your questions and ease your concerns when it comes to protecting your rights. We are dedicated to providing our clients the personalized attention and tailored solutions needed to overcome any obstacles along the way.

Reach out to our law firm today at (702) 904-9898 to request a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys.

Sources:

Internal Revenue Service “Retirement Topics - QDRO - Qualified Domestic Relations Order: https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/plan-participant-employee/retirement-topics-qdro-qualified-domestic-relations-order

U.S. Department of Labor: “QDROS: The Division of Retirement Benefits Through Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/publications/qdros.pdf

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