What happens to my pension in a divorce?

Florida residents who are considering filing for divorce for the first time tend to have many questions regarding marital property. Understanding what is considered marital property and what’s considered separate property is one of the most crucial things anyone needs to understand about going through a divorce. When you understand what marital assets are, you can determine what’s most likely going to happen to those assets during your divorce proceedings. Today, we’re going to specifically talk about how your pension will be handled when going through a divorce.

Dividing pensions right down the middle

Asset and property division laws in most states require that pensions be split right down the middle. However, this is only after the total amount of benefits is calculated for what was earned during the course of the marriage. Any contributions to the pension prior to marriage are considered separate property and remain in full ownership of the contributor. These contributions pre-marriage also include any contributions that were submitted by your employer.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO for short, must be filed with the financial institution holding your pension account. When you go through a divorce, your spouse must request the amount of pension funds owed to them. The court will not automatically give them a portion of your pension without a request first. Once the request is made by your former spouse, the judge will issue them the QDRO.

As you prepare to go through the entire divorce process, you should now have a better grasp of how your pension will be split. It’s a good idea to see if your spouse is willing to take another marital asset in exchange for allowing you to keep the full pension. You can possibly make this arrangement with the help of a skilled attorney to negotiate on your behalf.