How will a San Diego divorce affect Retirement and pension plans? What do you need to know about these often large assets as you consider and work through a divorce? Generally speaking, retirement and pension plans which are started or contributed to between the date of your marriage and the date of separation will be considered to be community property in whole or in part. Community property is to be divided equally between the parties during a San Diego divorce.
This fully applies to pension plans such as CalPERS and CalSTRS as well as all forms of common retirement accounts such as a 403(b) or 401(k). Contributions prior to the date of marriage and after the date of separation are most likely to be considered the “separate property” of the account holder.
Perhaps the most important fact to understand when answering the question “how will a San Diego divorce affect retirement and pension plans?” are the technical requirements and legal documents required to accomplish the division of these accounts. Each pension or retirement account has it’s own preferred “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” or QDRO or other technical requirements and language which must be precisely accurate in order to protect your community share after the divorce.
The order of the Judge to divide the account(s) as part of the property division process is not enough to actually accomplish it or ensure you receive the resulting funds or benefits. Unfortunately, Californians have left literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table in a divorce because they did not properly complete and execute this documentation or because they were simply unaware of the many ways in which San Diego divorce affect retirement and pension plans.
We invite you to protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a safe, confidential and private consultation with one of our experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists.