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How Will a CalSTRS Retirement Account Be Divided in a San Diego Divorce

On Behalf of | May 24, 2021 | Retirement Asset Division

How will a CalSTRS retirement account be divided in a San Diego divorce?  Teachers have a unique retirement plan here in California known as the State Teachers Retirement System or CalSTRS.  What happens when one (or both) of the spouses is a teacher during a divorce?

Generally speaking, retirement accounts which were established or contributed to during the course of the marriage are usually community property.  Community property is to be equitably divided in a San Diego divorce.

This is also true for 401(k) plans, IRAs, pensions, military benefits and other retirement vehicles.  It is never a sound strategy to obtain legal advice from your soon-to-be former spouse.  We have worked on many cases where we have been asked how will a CalSTRS retirement account be divided in our divorce? In many of these cases the owner of the retirement account or pension has attempted to convince our client they cannot have any portion of the retirement asset.

This is almost always simply untrue.

Our experienced California Family Law Certified Specialist attorneys can tell you all retirement benefits accrued during the marriage are community property and, absent an agreement to the contrary, must be divided equally upon divorce.  The IRA account is to be divided and the defined benefits and defined contributions made by your wife to the State Teachers Retirement System all must be equally divided in a divorce.

This is not an emotional issue.   The question of how will a CalSTRS retirement account be divided in a San Diego divorce is a practical business issue.

You are still entitled to a division of the retirement benefits your spouse has accumulated during the years of the marriage. If the retirement benefits are properly handled, then you will either receive a distribution to be deposited into your own retirement account or be entitled to a monthly payment when you attain a certain age. The division of the plan benefits in CalSTRS are controlled by both the Family Code and the Education Code and technical requirements must be met or you risk losing the entitlements and your one half.

The Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq can help you preserve your rights interests. Division of retirement benefits in a divorce often has nothing to do with child custody and visitation or spousal support issues.

Protet yourself and Contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment and get answers to questions like how will a  CalSTRS retirement account be divided in a San Diego divorce or how is a military retirement to be handled?