Florida divorce and retirement plans

Mediation may be ordered after you file for divorce.

During this process, a third party will attempt to help you and your spouse come to a divorce agreement without involving the court. Each side will present evidence and call witnesses, and a judge will make the final decision on all contested issues.

What Will Happen To My Pension In My Naples, Florida Divorce? - Russell D. Knight | Family Lawyer

Some divorces may be eligible for a simplified dissolution of marriage. This option does not require a financial disclosure and attorneys may not be necessary. To qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage, you must meet the following criteria:. During a divorce proceeding in Florida, the court only divides marital assets and debts.

For the purposes of a Florida divorce, the court considers any assets or debts acquired during the marriage by either party as marital assets. The court does not divide separate assets, defined as property and money owned by only one of the spouses. Non-marital assets include anything that either spouse obtained before the marriage or anything that either spouse received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage.

Who Handles Dividing the Retirement Plans?

This does not include gifts between spouses. Adding your spouse to the title of an item such as a car makes it marital property. First, the court assesses the value of non-monetary property.

The court will work with the couple to determine the value of their property. Experts like appraisers or certified public accountants CPA may be consulted to determine property value.

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In Florida, property must have an equitable distribution. The court may consider the following factors when making its decisions regarding property distribution:. In Florida, the court can order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the ex-spouse. The court may consider the following factors when calculating child support:. The court may also take into account the behavior of the spouses during the marriage, including incidents of adultery. Additionally, the court may also order one spouse to pay alimony, also called spousal support.

Factors taken into account when calculating alimony include:. While alimony payments you receive count as income, child support payments you receive do not.

How to Protect Your Pension in Divorce

In Florida, the court considers any money that either spouse puts into a retirement plan, like a k or an IRA , as marital property. Thus, the court splits up retirement plans the same way it divides other marital assets. One important thing to note is that the court only considers retirement or pension funds accrued during the marriage as marital property.


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Any money that either spouse deposited or earned before the marriage or after the divorce is separate property. Planning your estate becomes even more important when you go through a divorce though. The other half of the value of the plan, then, would be divided between the parties in a fair and equitable manner.

However, what is equitable is not always what is equal under Florida law. Pursuant to a QDRO, the administrator of the retirement plan must take steps to divide the balance or payments accordingly, and advise the non-owner spouse as to his or her potential options to handle his or her portion of the funds. Many times, a non-owner spouse is entitled to simply leave the funds with the plan and allow them to grow over time. In other cases, the non-owner spouse may have to roll the funds over into another type of retirement plan.

If the non-owner spouse is of a certain age, then he or she may even the right to receive distribution of the funds without being penalized. These options are all dependent on the provisions of the plan. If you are facing a divorce, retirement plans and pensions may be among your most valuable assets.

Due to the complexities surrounding these issues, you need to immediately consult with an experienced Florida family law attorney who can guide you through all aspects of your divorce case, including the division of any retirement plans or pensions.