Specializing in the division of retirement plan benefits requires so much more than preparing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. Our firm is deeply committed to the serving all of our client’s needs in this unique field from valuing defined contribution plans and IRAs, offering expert testimony, providing retirement distribution and tax planning, litigating, and of course drafting and processing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and similar orders that divide retirement plan assets.
Valuation of Retirement Assets
The valuation of the community and separate property components of a defined contribution plan such as a profit sharing or 401(k) is an essential part of the QDRO process. Such valuations are often required to bring community property and separate property figures forward to a current date where an account contains pre-marital and/or post separation contributions. We regularly engage in performing such “tracing” calculations whether to divide and dispose of the marital rights under one particular retirement account or in combination with offsetting multiple accounts.
The QDRO process often motivates individuals to engage in retirement planning, whether retirement is imminent or in the distant future. The acquisition of (or depletion of) retirement assets in the context of a divorce or legal separation presents a opportunity to assess one’s retirement goals. Although we are not financial planners, our expertise with respect to retirement distribution options and the tax consequences related thereto is useful in combination with the individual’s broader team of financial advisors.
The body of QDRO law has been and will continue to be shaped by case law. The experience gained from negotiating settlements or litigating issues involving the division of retirement assets has application to nearly all of our cases. Our firm is ready to meet the more demanding issues within this unique field of law that require litigation. Whether acting as an expert or serving as lead or co- counsel, our firm is equipped to litigate matters involving domestic relations orders.
The heart and soul of our practice is drafting, reviewing, and processing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders and similar court orders that divide benefits in the context of a marital dissolution or legal separation. In this regard, we have expertise with all types of plans including profit sharing and 401(k) plans, defined benefit plans, governmental plans, and non-qualified plans, to name a few. Not only are we readily familiar with the plan involved in your case, but we have dealt with just about every issue that may impact the division of benefits such as complex offsets with other assets, delicate treatment of separate property earnings and plan loans, inclusion of spousal or child support, disability pay, competing claims to survivor benefits, and more. An asset as an important and valuable as your retirement benefits deserves our high level of expertise and care.