Many people are afraid to get divorced because their retirement is based on some sort of a pension plan or a retirement fund. This fund is owned by their spouse. It makes them feel like they are financially obligated to stay married.
For example, perhaps their spouse has spent 30 years working at the same company and earning a valuable pension that they plan to use when they retire in five years. The person wants to get a divorce, but they’re worried that doing so will mean that they have no option to retire because the pension is going to stay with their ex.
If you’re in this situation, what can you do?
Using a QDRO
It is true that people often overlook retirement assets or don’t understand exactly what they deserve. You certainly don’t want to leave something like this on the table, as it could be one of the most valuable assets that you own.
If you and your spouse were married while they were earning that pension, it is likely a marital asset. This means that you can use a qualified domestic relations order or a QDRO. This order establishes a division of the monthly payments, with a portion of them going to you.
So, even if your spouse hasn’t retired yet, you can still get the QDRO in place first. This means that they are legally bound to send you the portion that was allotted to you by the court once they do decide to retire. You can protect your ownership of future assets in this way.
With a complicated divorce, it’s always important to know about the legal options at your disposal.