PERA And FERS Retirement Account Division In Divorce
Retirement accounts are considered in the pool of assets to be divided. The court considers the value of the account before the marriage and how much the account increased in value during the marriage. The difference is divided equitably between the parties. Equitable division does not always mean equal, but it does mean fair.
At the Littleton and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, law offices of Jolein A. Harro, P.C., we regularly handle divorces in which couples have retirement savings. This may include both Colorado PERA plans for state employees and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) plans for federal employees.
All Retirement Plans Are Not The Same
Each retirement account requires special consideration. Some are more complex than others, while others offer different benefits or are subject to certain regulations. It is important to have your attorney work with an expert who has dedicated his or her career to handling these complex financial matters.
Without experienced counsel, critical factors may be overlooked. At our law firm, we may partner with other professionals, including CPAs, financial planners and tax professionals, to make sure that everything is taken into consideration. This is especially true for clients who have PERA or FERS retirement accounts, which are subject to special rules. Many people have these accounts, including public school teachers, university or college employees, law enforcement personnel, judges, employees of federal agencies and other public employees.
Our lawyers can make sure that your PERA or FERS benefits have been correctly calculated and apportioned. We can address those retirement assets in the overall context of marital property division and draft any necessary documents, including QDROs.
What You Should Know About QDROs
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) are special orders that create or recognize the existence of a spouse's right to receive money from his or her spouse's retirement account. After a divorce, a QDRO can assign all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under a retirement plan to that person's ex-spouse.
We welcome your questions about your retirement savings and are available to guide you through the decision-making process in your divorce. To get started, call us at 303-463-6302 or complete our online contact form. We have an office in Littleton, serving the Denver metro area and Jefferson County, as well as a satellite office in Steamboat Springs.