Pensions are a common source of confusion and contention in divorce. Generally, pensions earned during the course of the marriage are marital property for the purposes of divorce and property division in Georgia. There are several different kinds of pensions, each with unique rules and guidelines. Couples will need to ensure accurate pension valuation during divorce in Gwinnett County to properly factor them into the settlement.
Obtaining a Pension Valuation During Divorce in Gwinnett County
Any funds contributed to the plan prior to the date of marriage or after the date of divorce, and any interest earned on those amounts, are separate property and not subject to division. However, any contributions made during the course of the marriage and applicable interest are marital property and will factor into the value of the marital estate.
Because at least a portion of the pension is usually part of the marital estate, it requires assessment and valuation. Numerous factors can complicate matters, though. For example, pensions can be matured or not matured, vested or not vested, and they may or may not contain comingled assets (assets that have both separate and marital properties).
Valuing a pension necessitates a professional pension evaluator/appraiser. Note: if you are working with Ward Law Firm for your divorce, we can help you find the right professional for your type of pension account.
There are two methods to evaluate pensions for property division:
- Present value. With this method, appraisers assess the current worth of the pension, and then incorporate that dollar figure into the bottom line value of the marital estate. Sometimes the non-employee spouse will take an asset of similar value and give up her rights to her part of the pension.
- Deferred distribution. With this method, the pension is divided later, when the benefits are being paid by the plan. With this method, a court order or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) usually details the provisions for distribution.
Ward Law Firm Can Help with Your Pension Valuation and Protect Your Future
It is important to get a clear picture of all of your assets and debts during a divorce. Hire a divorce attorney to assist you. If pensions and retirement accounts are not properly valuated in the divorce documents, you may lose your rights to funds or be slapped with extra fines and taxes.
If you are going through a divorce in Gwinnett County, call Ward Law Firm for assistance. We can help you evaluate your pension and other assets, come up with creative solutions for division, and protect your best interests during negotiations. Contact us today 770-383-1973 for your REAL Case Evaluation.