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What Happens to Retirement Funds and 401(k) Plans in a Divorce?

Posted on: April 25, 2017

Of all of the difficulties and stresses that a divorce may bring, the challenges of dealing with what will happen to the financial side of things may be the most confusing and conflict-inspiring. If you are finding challenge in handling your Retirement Funds and or 401(k) Plan(s) in your divorce, the expert, award-winning attorneys at Graham Law Firm, PLLCĀ are here to assist.

We will strive to provide you with an easy and effective overview today, however in order to find more specific and exact details it is best to contact our attorneys to speak with us directly. Navigating financial matters can be rife with minor details, and it is difficult to prove all-encompassing answers in only so many words.

How 401k Plans are Handled in Divorce: In Brief

It is important that you be quite familiar with your 401k. Plans are often restricted by very specific stipulations, and any of these present may dictate your options when deciding what to do with the funds during a divorce. It is ideal to speak with your plan administrator first so you have an idea of what options you may have.

How things will proceed throughout your mediated or litigated divorce will depend on whether or not both parties carry a 401k, or if only one has an active IRA.

401k and Retirement Plans Held by Both Parties

Most typically, and particularly when the divorce is being mediated and resolved peaceable, both parties may simply choose to hold onto what they have and let it be. Alternatively if one account is in far excess of the other, the parties may choose to balance the two, funds from one 401k simply being directly transferred to the other, or it can be agreed that assets of equal value be transferred instead of dealing with more complex 401k plans.

401k and Retirement Plans Held by a Single Party

This can largely be handled similarly, and in an agreeable outcome assets of equal value can be chosen to equal out even sharing. However, there are other options available.

Seeking a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be advantageous, as it protects the interests of the party that does not currently hold a retirement plan. These are typically court-ordered, and most often sought in the process of litigation.

Trusted Divorce Law Firm in Northern VA

When you need to rely on a team of trusted divorce lawyers in Virginia, look no further than Graham Law Firm, PLLC. Our team is ready to help you navigate your divorce smoothly and expertly. Contact us online today to learn more.

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