Will a divorce mean you can’t retire?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Divorce

You sometimes meet people who want to get divorced but refuse to move ahead and actually do it. This can be somewhat perplexing from the outside, as it is clear that they would be happier if they ended the marriage. But the trouble is that they may have financial concerns.

For instance, maybe you and your spouse have been married for decades. They have a pension plan that they’re going to get when they retire in the next few years. It will provide plenty of money for both of you, so you haven’t been saving for retirement. You’re just counting on that pension. Now you’re worried that asking for a divorce means that you’re going to lose the pension and you won’t be able to retire.

You may want to use a QDRO

One way to address this is to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, usually known as a QDRO. This document can name you as an alternate payee, and then you will get monthly pension payments when your spouse begins collecting those payments themselves. This is true even if they’re not going to start getting the pension until long after the divorce.

It is worth noting that you will not get 100% of the pension. It will be divided based on things like the length of your marriage. So you could end up with less than you expected to retire on, but it doesn’t mean that you will get divorced and then have nothing at all. Many times, the other spouse is given half of the portion of the pension that was earned during the marriage. If you were married for half of that time your spouse was earning the pension, this would mean you would get 25%.

But all cases are different. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take to get what you deserve.



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