Cleveland Family Law Attorneys

Special Order Required To Divide Retirement Accounts

Throughout a marriage in Ohio, the couple may gain more and more assets. These assets could be real property like homes, automobiles, and also include bank accounts and retirement accounts. As the couple gains or grow these assets they are creating marital property and if the couple divorces they will need to divide all of these marital assets. The property division process can take some time because the couple will need to gather statements for financial accounts and perhaps have businesses and homes appraised to determine their values.

Once the couple knows the value of the assets they will need to determine if either spouse has any non-marital portion in any of the assets. After all of this is done the couple can then divide the marital assets. How these assets are divided depends on the circumstances, but sometimes couples need to be creative depending on if an asset is liquid or if the value of the asset is equity which will not be realized until the asset is sold.

One other type of asset that can be complicated to divide is retirement accounts. Many people have 401(k) plans or pensions. These types of accounts must follow specific rules under federal law. In order to divide these pursuant to a divorce a separate order is needed to actually order the plan administrators to give the ordered amount to the other spouse. These orders are known as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and must include very specific language to follow the law.

Many people in Ohio have retirement accounts that they accrue during their marriage and many people end up getting divorced. During the divorce process, the couples will have to divide their marital assets, which includes dividing retirement accounts. Many of these accounts are governed by federal law and require special orders to actually give the other spouse their portion of it. Experienced attorneys understand these laws and may be able to guide one through it.