Counsel for the non-participant spouse cannot adequately represent his or her client without thoroughly understanding the retirement plan benefits being distributed in the divorce action and all of the possible contingencies. Few family law practitioners are fully versed in this complicated and often risky area of the law.
Traps for the Unwary
The most hazardous part of any settlement involving retirement assets is negotiating and structuring the Property Settlement Agreement language dealing with the deferred distribution of a pension. There are thousands and thousands of plans and each is unique in its provisions. Also, unexpected events, such as the death or early retirement of the member spouse can have profound negative impact on the non-member spouse, unless these issues are addressed in the settlement.
Contingencies—No Legal Boilerplate Works!
Besides the issue of survivorship, pension plans have contingent provisions (i.e., supplemented early retirement benefits, cost of living adjustments, payment increases provided by post-retirement, renegotiated union contracts, etc.). Many public plans allow participants to make contribution withdrawals at the time of their retirement that will reduce their monthly lifetime pension. There is a strong possibility that private pension plans, as we know them, will disappear in the next 20 years. Your negotiations and settlement language must address all of these contingencies.
Avoid Malpractice—Use an Expert!
Knowledgeable family law attorneys know they cannot handle these matters without expert assistance. To protect themselves and their clients in this complicated area of their practice thousands of attorneys have relied on LawDATA, Inc. to avoid the hazards inherent in negotiating and drafting settlement language that anticipates a QDRO or a public plan Domestic Relations Order. If your practice includes family law you should be doing the same. Let us draft the language dealing with deferred retirement asset distributions for your Property Settlement Agreements.
- Has 24 years' experience in providing expert guidance to attorneys in the distribution of marital property retirement assets and the preparation of Domestic Relations Orders
- Subscribes to National LEXIS© for adherence to your State's legislation and case law
- Creates language that addresses the pension plan contingencies specific to your case
- Databases of over 15,000 retirement plan documents
- Creates language structured for tax law compliance and to avoid needless taxable consequences
- Carries malpractice insurance as an additional buffer to your exposure
- Ensures your negotiations don't overlook any critical plan provisions
- Covers public, private and military plans
- Offers fast and inexpensive services
Download our QDRO Procedures and
intake form here
Download, print, and return the form along with your deposit check for prompt service.
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