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Are you prepared to divide retirement benefits?

At any time of life, a Michigan divorce may present financial challenges, but as you near retirement age, special attention to certain details may be warranted. Even if you and your spouse are willing to come to an agreement over the details of the division of the marital property, a lack of information may lead to a mistake that impedes your well-being after retirement.

Kiplinger.com explains that dividing retirement benefits depends on the type of plan in question, and some accounts are not divisible. However, this does not mean you are not entitled to an equitable share of the asset. Instead, the plan may be valuated so that you can receive your fair share of other assets that represent your portion of those benefits.

If your spouse is a member of the military, you may be eligible for a percentage of the retirement pay, but if you do not request it, they may not be allotted to you. Issues such as early-retirement and survivor’s benefits may apply in other cases, so the plans you and your spouse have should be examined to determine if there is eligibility.

The sooner you have a qualified domestic relations order, the better. This legal document, which is often required for complex retirement and pension plan division, must have the approval of the administrator of the plan and the signature of a judge, and it is typically drafted by an attorney. Although this may give you an idea of some topics to explore when discussing property division, the information is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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