In New York State, all marital property is subject to the state’s Equitable Distribution Law. This includes retirement accounts. Traditional/Roth IRAs, pensions, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and 457(b)s are the types that most often come to mind. Once an agreement has been reached on how these assets will be divided, the final step in the process is actually dividing them. Most traditional and Roth IRAs can easily be divided, without penalty, with the plan participant’s consent and the filling out of a couple forms. 

    Dividing plans that are offered by an employer, i.e., pensions, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and 457(b)s is a little more complicated. To accomplish this, and avoid taxes on the distribution or early withdrawal penalties, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be drafted, typically by an attorney, and submitted to the court. A QDRO is a court order, once signed by a judge, that directs the division of the retirement asset in question. Once the QDRO has been approved by the plan administrator, any attorneys involved, and the judge, the plan administrator will begin the process of splitting the retirement account per the QDRO’s instructions.

    For individuals participating in the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), the state website offers a wealth of information for any member or spouse going through a divorce. 

    In the end, almost every divorce is a negotiated settlement and retirement assets are just one piece of the puzzle. Whether your situation is contested, uncontested, or you choose mediation, at Bates Family Law we truly understand the multiple ways that all these pieces can fit together in a way that is focused on your future. Give us a call at today at (585) 433-4661 to schedule your consultation.

     

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    What our clients are saying...

    “Alison represented our daughter from birth until the finalization of her adoption. She was the most knowledgeable, patient, and thorough attorney we could possibly have worked with. While navigating the Family Court system can be incredibly confusing and taxing, Alison took the time to explain every step, and advocated tirelessly for the best interests of our child.”

    – Julia C.

    “Alison helped me get my kids back in my life! I had an order of protection against me that didn’t allow me to see my kids for 3 months... The day after the court date I was able to see my kids again... I can’t imagine what the outcome would have been if I didn’t have Alison in my corner.  Forever Grateful!”

    – Mike P.

    “Alison Bates is not just my attorney. Alison Bates is a warrior who battled to make sure my son and I could be together. Alison Bates was my light on a very dark, lonely and scary path. Now I look into my son's eyes and it is hard not to think about Alison and all she did in helping me maintain that unbreakable bond.”

    – Mark I.

    “Alison has been phenomenal during a very challenging divorce. Her empathy and compassion for my situation while being direct with the realities of the legal system were reassuring and made me feel secure in the path we were taking every step of the way...”

    – Tiffany R.

    “Alison was a source of compassion and support to me during a very difficult time. She is very knowledgeable and a strong advocate when needed. I appreciated her prompt responses and straightforward manner. When things became difficult, I felt glad to have her in my corner.”

    – Kristen H.

    When I first met Alison, I was a recently separated father experiencing parental alienation and was having limited access to my child despite my requests to the mother. Alison explained to me that what I was experiencing was not uncommon early on in the separation process and fought hard on my behalf to resolve the matter in a fair and equitable way. Alison was efficient, reliable, and provided clear communication throughout the entire process. I would highly recommend her representation in any family law or divorce proceedings.

    – Cory G.

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    Bates Family Law, P.C. • (585) 433-4661