Can My Ex Take My Retirement or Pension in a Divorce?

Your ex can take part of your retirement or pension benefits if you received or earned them during the years of your marriage. This means any retirement or pension benefits that you accumulated before the marriage, or after the divorce is finalized, belong only to you, and your ex cannot take any of it. However, they are typically entitled to half of the retirement or pension accounts that you received or earned while married to them.

Divorce is one of the most complicated and emotionally exhausting processes a couple can go through. It does not matter how long you have been together or how serious the relationship was; deciding to divorce is never a simple decision to make. One of the parts of this process that makes it so challenging is the property division aspect. Most of the time, retirement benefits or pensions are part of the couple’s property, causing individuals to become stressed, frustrated, and on the edge of their seat wondering how much their spouse may get.

How is property divided among divorcing couples in New Orleans, Louisiana?

Couples divorcing in New Orleans, Louisiana, are residing in a community property state. This means that most of their properties, assets, and even debts are typically divided between both parties equally. As a result, anything the couple has earned or received during their marriage will generally be split down the middle between both spouses who are seeking a divorce.

However, since primary residences, vacation homes, cars, and a few other items may not be able to be split 50/50, the Judge may ask you to sell these items and instead split the money equally. There are a few other exceptions that your assets may fall under when it comes to the marital property division process. It is suggested that you reach out to a divorce attorney as soon as possible to go over the facts and circumstances of your case and determine if you meet any of the exception rules.

Are my retirement benefits considered marital or separate property?

When determining if your retirement benefits are considered to be marital or separate property, you will need to think about whether you earned or received these benefits before or during the marriage. If you earned or received retirement benefits during the marriage, they are considered marital property, but if you earned or received them before the marriage, they are considered separate property.

It is recommended that you get in touch with a lawyer instead of making the assumption that your retirement benefits are separate or marital property. Your attorney will locate your benefits as well as explain whether each one is separate or marital property and why.

How can I find out the value of my retirement or pension benefits?

It is extremely difficult to find out the value of a person’s retirement or pension benefits. However, it is not impossible with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney. It is a great idea to schedule a meeting with a New Orleans divorce lawyer at your earliest opportunity to learn how much your retirement or pension benefits are worth. Your attorney will make this very complicated process as easy and stress-free as possible for you, and in the end, you will know the true value of your retirement or pension benefits, which may be beneficial to your divorce case.

Do I need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order in New Orleans, Louisiana?

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is necessary if both spouses plan to divide their retirement or pension benefits. This means that the spouses will need to fill out and submit a QDRO form, which explains how the retirement or pension benefits are being divided among both parties. The administrator will look over the QDRO for instructions indicating the amount that each spouse will receive of the benefits, how they will receive the benefits, and when they will receive the benefits.

A QDRO gives permission to the spouse who was not an employee and did not receive the benefits from the employer to have access to the retirement or pension benefits. Therefore, without this order, the marital property division process cannot be completed because the retirement or pension benefits could not be touched by anyone other than the employee who received or earned them.

What if my spouse and I signed pre- or post-nuptial agreements?

If you and your spouse signed pre- or post-nuptial agreements regarding your retirement or pension benefits, this means that you both made an agreement about what the other would get if you divorced. The court will follow this agreement that you and your spouse made, and you and your spouse will receive whatever amount was stated in the agreement pertaining to the retirement or pension accounts.

What if I inherited retirement or pension benefits?

If you inherited or were left behind someone else’s retirement or pension benefits, they will most likely be considered separate property. For instance, your uncle may have left you his retirement or pension account because he never married or had children of his own. When he passed away, you received these benefits. Even though you may have received these benefits during your marriage, they only belong to you and will not be divided as marital property.

The divorce attorneys at The Law Office of James A. Graham have built a solid reputation around the New Orleans area. We are friendly, trustworthy, compassionate, and understanding when it comes to helping our clients navigate the obstacles and hurdles of a divorce. One of the first questions our clients ask us usually involves retirement and pension benefits. Therefore, we are ready and available to answer these frequently asked questions and ensure that you are informed with the right information before you proceed. If you are considering divorce, contact our firm to get the immediate legal help you need and deserve today. Our team will provide a helping hand and make sure your rights are always protected and that your best interests are kept in mind.