People frequently ask why pensions, 401Ks and other retirement assets solely in an individual’s name are subject to being shared by the other spouse upon divorce.  The courts treat the retirement assets acquired during the marriage as a form of savings and therefore subject to being shared by the other spouse.  The portion of the pension, 401K or other retirement asset that accumulated during the marriage is subject to division.  There should also be discussion about other aspects of the benefit such as rights to cost of living adjustments, rights to name beneficiaries, etc.

            The division of a retirement asset usually requires a specific order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).  While the process to obtain a QDRO usually takes some time, it is necessary to protect the parties.

            If you or your spouse has any retirement benefit you will want to speak to an attorney knowledgeable about the distribution of retirement benefits in a divorce.  Call Iandoli & Edens at 908-879-9499.