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Dividing Pensions In New York

Many decisions must be made when two people divorce. Some of the most important and highly debated decisions concern how property will be divided. Divorcing couples not only divide the marital home, financial accounts, debts and other assets, including retirement accounts.

For 37 years, the attorneys at Buffalo-based Venzon Law Firm PC have been helping individuals divide marital estates and obtain the retirement benefits they need to be financially secure in their happily ever after.

IRA And 401(k)

Retirement accounts are considered marital property and subject to division even though retirement benefits may have been accumulated by only one spouse during the marriage. Dividing these financial assets during a divorce has a substantial impact on each spouse’s future financial health because most people rely on retirement accounts to provide for them as they age.

Complex federal procedures apply to division of certain types of retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, profit sharing plans, tax-sheltered annuities, employer defined pension plans and employee stock ownership plans. In these cases, it is necessary to obtain a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that instructs retirement account administrators to pay benefits to a nonemployee ex-spouse after a divorce. Without a QDRO, even a mutually agreed-upon division of certain retirement accounts will not be honored.

Venzon Law Firm PC helps clients throughout the entire property distribution process. When property settlement agreements can be reached, we follow the necessary steps to ensure QDROs are issued to ensure our clients have access to future benefits. However, when litigation is necessary, we provide clients with strong courtroom representation needed to obtain fair and equitable property division orders.

Placing A Value On Future Retirement Benefits

One of the most complicated aspects of retirement account division is valuation. It is often difficult to ascertain the true value of a retirement account.

The current, or present, value of the account as well as the future value of the account must be taken into consideration when ascertaining the value of any retirement account. Venzon Law Firm PC uses financial experts, such as certified public accountants (CPAs) and actuaries, to ensure our lawyers know the full potential value of each account.