The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of the information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Myth 2: If you’ve never filed for divorce before, you are likely unfamiliar with the many facets of Washington divorce law. Retirement plans can be of significant value and often come with important tax implications. WA state law says that the division of assets and liabilities must be just and equitable. When going through a divorce, both parties to the marriage should know whether the state government employee's pension or other retirement plan asset can be divided, whether survivors benefits can be paid to a widow or widower, and what information must be included in any state court Domestic Relations Order to ensure that the retirement system will make the court-ordered payments. A recent Money Makeover story about a Seattle couple considering retirement raised questions about the options available under the state’s Public Employees’ Retirement … You and your spouse or partner worked together to save money for retirement. The other method is to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide the benefit now, so that both spouses will share the benefit at retirement age. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the factors our firm believes judges weigh most heavily: 1. Specific information on these pensions can be found at the following web page http://drs.wa.gov/member/. The courts take several factors into account when determining whether alimony is appropriate, including the length of the marriage, the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, and more. Retirement Systems. Typically in divorce, we do not split each asset; but rather we make piles and try to make the piles come out … An eligible spouse may be entitled to receive up to 50% of a military retirement under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA). The following terms used in this Order are defined as follows: a. Depending on the state’s applicable laws, a former spouse may be entitled to a portion of a service member’s retirement benefits. There’s two fundamental questions you have to keep in mind in respect to protecting your retirement. Enforceable Agreement. The courts do not consider marital misconduct as a deciding factor in the division of property, and infidelity is not usually an issue in deciding child custody. A final divorce order will split all of a couple’s assets, including real property, bank accounts, pensions, retirement savings, and even disability benefits.Depending on your particular circumstances and where you live, you or your spouse’s disability benefits can be considered marital property. This benefit can then be awarded to one spouse and offset with other assets to the other spouse. There are many retirement benefits to consider in a property division, including IRA’s, pension plans, 401K’s, stock options, sick leave and deferred compensations. ORIGINAL POST: When it comes time to end a marriage, it may well be the absolute best decision. As a general rule, Federal law prohibits states from awarding a former spouse over 50% of a service member’s disposable retirement benefits. What Should I Know About Retirement Benefits? Whether you or your partner files for divorce, we can help you decipher these laws while ensuring your interests are fully protected. The general rule is that the children must have lived in Washington State since birth or the six. Retirement Plans in Washington Divorce – QDRO. COVID-19 Update: To do our part in slowing the spread of COVID-19, our team is working First is to find the present value of the future stream of benefits, by sending the information to an actuary, who uses life expectancy tables and projected interest rates to determine its value in today’s dollars. DCP Home; Retirees. Often parties will agree to each keep their own retirement benefits, and use some other asset (such as equity in a house) to balance the property division. Retirement planning is part of most marriages and registered domestic partnerships, and should be part of every divorce. When it comes to child support, did you know that if you don’t currently have a job, or are voluntarily underemployed, the court can “impute” income based on what they think you could be making? • You signed a student waiver while employed by a college or university. Washington is a no-fault state and one spouse or the other only needs to claim that a marriage is “irretrievably broken” to start the divorce process. If the court finds that a parent is purposely unemployed/underemployed in order to reduce their child support obligation, imputing income ensures that the parent is still held responsible for providing for their children financially. No information or online form on this web site establishes an attorney-client relationship. Public Employees’ (PERS) Teachers’ (TRS) School Employees’ (SERS) Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ (LEOFF) Public Safety Employees’ (PSERS) Washington State Patrol (WSPRS) Judicial (JRS) Judges’ Retirement Fund (JRF) Save With DCP. The same can be done with a 401(k) plan, where the QDRO can award a spouse an interest in the retirement benefit in a divorce without incurring any penalty and without any tax as long as it is rolled over into another tax deferred vehicle (IRA). Washington State Divorce: The Four Main Options For Splitting Your 401(k) Part of sharing a life with your spouse is planning for a future together - a plan that might include a 401(k) or other retirement funds. 1  It also works the other way around: your spouse is legally entitled to part of your employer-sponsored retirement account value … Common law marriages are not seen as valid marriages and are therefore not subject to divorce. In order to file for a dissolution of marriage, a couple must have a valid legal marriage. In Washington, the minimum length of a divorce case is three months. You do not have to provide evidence that your spouse is cheating on you to get a divorce. Call today for a free phone consult about dividing retirement accounts in divorce. You may be surprised to find out that the reality is quite a bit different. The court won't necessarily do a 50/50 split, but it … This is not the case. The other method is to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide the benefit now, so that both spouses will share the benefit at retirement age. Here are six Washington divorce laws that you should be aware of: 1. Your browser is out of date. Washington State pensions, including Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF), Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS), Judicial Retirement System (JRS), and Judges’ Retirement Fund (JRF), all require special statutory treatment for division, rather than a QDRO. If You Are a State or City Employee in Washington, Take Note. 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