Houston Division of Retirement Benefits Lawyers
Safeguarding the Savings and Retirement Accounts You've Worked so Hard to Build
Unbeknownst to some, retirement benefits are one of many possessions subject to the property division process during a divorce in Houston. Texas' status as a community property state can make dividing retirement benefits more complex, and having reliable and knowledgeable legal counsel at your side throughout the process is crucial.
At Diggs & Sadler, our Houston division of retirement benefits attorneys will work with you to pursue an equitable outcome in your case.
Understanding Retirement Benefits & Property Division in Texas
We cover the property division process in-depth on our complex property division page, including how courts identify, characterize (and distribute) separate and community property.
In Texas, community property (generally defined as property acquired by either or both parties during the marriage) must be divided "equitably" ("in a manner deemed just and right") between the spouses during the divorce. However, separate property (property meant explicitly for one person or acquired before the marriage) is exempt from this process.
Whether you can expect to divide retirement benefits with your soon-to-be-ex in your divorce largely depends on when you made contributions to your retirement account.
Frequently, contributions made pre-marriage are considered separate property. However, courts often consider contributions made during the marriage to be community property, meaning the spouses must divide it as part of the divorce process.
Examples of retirement benefits commonly distributed during divorces include:
- 401k accounts;
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and
- Deferred compensation accounts.
You and your spouse can either draft an agreement determining how you'll divide community property retirement benefits or rely on the court to divide the property for you.
If the other party or the court awards you a portion of your spouse's retirement benefits, you'll need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to finalize the case. A QDRO informs your former spouse's employer of the property division and enables them to redirect a certain portion of the retirement benefits to you. Once you determine how to divide retirement benefits, the judge presiding over your case will sign the QDRO, finalizing the arrangement.
At Diggs and Sadler, our Houston retirement benefits division attorneys have a wealth of experience helping clients resolve high-profile and complex property division cases.
A Team-Based Approach
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Our attorneys prepare for war so we can negotiate peace. We are not afraid to go to trial if it is in the client's best interest.
Each case is reviewed by our team to ensure we are crafting a case strategy that will help you achieve a satisfactory result.
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