divorce and pension

Aug 8, 2012 by

Question: 

I live in GA and I am going through a divorce. We have been married for 17 yrs and I have not worked during the marriage. My husband has a pension plan, am I entitled to a portion of that when we reach retirement age?

State: 
Georgia

Answer: 

Most likely, yes. Georgia is an “equitable distribution” state and the court will distribute marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean 50-50 equal, but what is deemed fair by the Court. Your husband’s pension is a marital asset and you are most likely entitled to a portion of it. Your final divorce agreement should contain a “qualified domestic relations order” (QDRO) that creates or recognizes your right to receive a portion of the benefits payable to your husband under a retirement plan.

The QDRO explains to a plan administrator that two parties are dividing pension benefits due to equitable distribution. The instructions determine how much will be paid to each party and when they are to be paid. Without examining the pension it is difficult to estimate, but that you are entitled to a portion is probably correct. A good divorce attorney in your area can give you more specific information. – The Divorce.com Team

Wendy Jaffe and Divorce.com can only provide general information about divorce. DO NOT RELY ON MS. JAFFE’S ADVICE ALONE. Before acting on information provided by Ms. Jaffe or by Divorce.com, talk to an attorney first about your particular facts and the law of your state. By submitting your question to Divorce.com, you are not creating an attorney/client relationship with Ms. Jaffe or with any of the other attorneys listed on this site.

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