One reason people worry about getting divorced is that they think it may impact their retirement plans based on financial decisions they have already made. They don’t want to risk losing the assets they need to retire.
For instance, say that your spouse has a great pension plan or a retirement fund that they get through their job. You don’t use that fund yet, since your spouse is still working, but you have spent years planning on using that money. As a result, you haven’t saved for retirement on your own. If you get divorced, are you going to lose all of your funds and never be able to retire?
A QDRO can split up those benefits
The short answer is that no, you do not have to lose all of the assets you were counting on. Remember, things earned during your marriage are marital assets. You still have a right to those assets, even in a divorce. A retirement fund or a pension plan that your spouse earned — or earned a portion of — after you got married is a plan that needs to be shared with you.
To do it, you can use a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). The exact division depends on your specific case, but you generally will get a portion of all assets earned while you were married, excluding the percentage of the pension earned before you got married or the portion that will be earned after your divorce.
You do not want to lose important assets in your divorce, and you don’t have to when you have the right legal support. Make sure you understand your options as you proceed.