Division of Retirement Accounts: What considerations need to be taken into account in dividing retirement accounts in a divorce?

Dallas, TX family law attorney, Paula Lock Smyth talks about what should happen when dividing retirement accounts in a divorce.

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Well, it depends on what type of retirement account is involved. Infrequently anymore do I find we have a defined benefit plan like a pension involved so most of the time, it’s 401K’s, which are considered to be defined contribution plans. And we, again, bring in a financial expert to help us evaluate how much is involved in the retirement and what can be done with it. Most of the time, we get a domestic relations order also known as a qualified domestic relations order or QDRO for short. And the qualified part of that is after the retirement plan has qualified or approved our domestic relations order that’s a separate order from the divorce degree and we need to look at that very quickly in the case. Now we only have 30 days after the divorce is final to submit those QDROs for signature because otherwise, the courts require us to file a new lawsuit and serve the other side.