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Tampa Divorce Attorney | Blog | Retirement Pension Divorce | Everything You Need To Know About Pension Division At Divorce

Everything You Need To Know About Pension Division At Divorce


Divorce is a challenging and emotionally draining process, especially when it involves the division of assets, such as pensions. In Tampa, Florida, at the Law Office of Laura A Olson, Laura Olson understands the importance of securing a fair and equitable division of assets, including pensions, to ensure your financial stability post-divorce. Our dedicated Tampa retirement and pension division attorney can help with issues such as Qualified Domestic Orders and general division of retirement benefits today.

Factors Involved in Pension Division

When it comes to pension division in divorce, Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution. This means that marital assets, including pensions, are divided fairly but not necessarily equally between spouses. Several factors are considered when determining the division of a pension:

Marital vs. Non-Marital Property: Pensions accumulated during the marriage are typically considered marital property and subject to division, while those acquired before the marriage or after the divorce filing may be considered non-marital property.

Length of the Marriage: The duration of the marriage plays a significant role in pension division. Pensions earned during a long-term marriage are more likely to be subject to division, while shorter marriages may involve a different approach.

Contribution to the Pension: The contributions made by both spouses during the marriage to the pension plan are considered when determining the division. This includes both financial contributions and any career sacrifices made by either spouse for the benefit of the other’s career.

Methods of Pension Division

There are various methods for dividing pensions in divorce cases, and the approach chosen will depend on the circumstances and the preferences of the parties involved. Some common methods include:

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO): A QDRO is a court order that allows for the division of a pension plan. It outlines the terms of the division and instructs the plan administrator to distribute the designated portion of the pension to the non-employee spouse.

Lump-Sum Offset: In this method, the value of the pension is calculated, and the non-employee spouse may receive other marital assets of equivalent value to offset their share of the pension.

Deferred Distribution: With deferred distribution, the pension remains intact until the employee spouse reaches the retirement age, at which point the non-employee spouse receives their share of the benefits.

The tax implications can be complicated when dealing with retirement and pension division. No taxes will be paid at the time of distribution where retirement benefits are removed directly from one person’s account and deposited into the other spouse’s retirement account. However, taxes will have to be paid where the assets are withdrawn from one person’s retirement account and distributed to the other person outside of a retirement account.

Seeking Professional Legal Guidance at The Law Office of Laura A. Olson

Pension division in divorce can be complex, requiring a thorough understanding of both family law and the specific rules governing pension plans. It is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney, such as Laura A. Olson at the Law Office of Laura A Olson in Tampa, Florida. The Law Office of Laura A Olson in Tampa, Florida is dedicated to helping our clients navigate the complexities of pension division and achieve a favorable resolution in their divorce proceedings.

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