Coins in glass jar with retirement label

Understanding Your Right to Retirement Assets

Lamb and Lamb, P.C. Dec. 28, 2023

Divorce is never easy, especially when it comes to understanding your rights to retirement assets. You've worked hard for these assets and ensuring they're handled fairly in a division can seem like an overwhelming task. But you're not alone in this journey. At Lamb and Lamb, P.C., we believe in empowering our clients with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their future.

As a law firm based in Salem, Massachusetts, we proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding areas, including Danvers, Beverly, Lynnfield, and Peabody. We're here to demystify the process of asset division during divorce, particularly when it comes to retirement assets.

Division of Property in Massachusetts 

When going through a divorce in Massachusetts, it becomes crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of how property division works. One of the key aspects of this process pertains to the distribution of retirement assets, which plays a significant role in ensuring a fair and equitable outcome. At Lamb and Lamb, P.C., we want to ensure absolute clarity on how Massachusetts follows the principle of "equitable distribution". This means that while the division may not be strictly equal, it is designed to be fair and just, taking into account various factors unique to each case. 

Retirement assets such as pensions, 401(k) plans, and IRAs often qualify as marital property if they were accumulated during the course of the marriage. It's important to note that this holds true even if the retirement account is solely in one spouse's name.

The Role of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) 

The division of retirement assets often necessitates a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO is a legal decree that establishes the right of an alternate payee, usually the non-employee spouse, to receive part of the retirement benefits. It lays out the specifics of the division, including the amount or percentage to be allocated and when distributions should occur. 

It's important to remember that a QDRO is a complex legal document. Ensuring it correctly represents the asset division is critical to avoid future disputes or issues. That's where we come in, providing our extensive knowledge and experience to help draft and review the QDRO meticulously. 

Equitable Distribution Process in Massachusetts 

During the equitable distribution process, several factors get taken into consideration to determine how retirement assets should be divided. These include the length of the marriage, the age and health of both spouses, their conduct during the marriage, their incomes and sources of income, their employability and vocational skills, their potential to acquire future assets, their needs and liabilities, their contributions to the marriage and asset acquisition, and whether alimony or child support is awarded. 

We understand how overwhelming it can feel to navigate this process alone. That's why we're here to guide you every step of the way. Our team at Lamb and Lamb, P.C. will help you gather all necessary financial information, evaluate the value of retirement assets, and negotiate a fair division based on your unique circumstances. 

How an Attorney Can Assist

The division of retirement assets in a divorce can indeed be challenging. But with us by your side, you'll have the benefit of our extensive experience and unwavering support. We can assess the value of retirement assets, taking into account factors such as tax implications and future growth. We'll negotiate a fair division based on your case's specific circumstances and the applicable laws. 

Drafting and reviewing a QDRO are also part of our services. We'll ensure it's properly drafted and reviewed to avoid any potential issues or disputes down the line. Throughout the entire process, we'll advocate for your rights and interests, ensuring you're treated fairly and your financial future is safeguarded. 

Secure What's Rightfully Yours

Divorce and asset division can be emotionally challenging, but you don't have to face it alone. With our guidance, you can approach the task of dividing retirement assets with confidence, knowing that we're committed to securing a favorable outcome for you.  

Reach out to us at Lamb and Lamb, P.C., to discuss your situation and receive personalized legal advice. Our law firm proudly serves individuals and families in Salem and the surrounding areas, including Lynnfield, Danvers, Beverly, and Peabody. Set up a consultation today.  

Our dedicated team is committed to providing you with unwavering support and guidance throughout the entire process, ensuring that you are fully aware of your rights pertaining to these significant assets. We will stand by your side, advocating for your best interests and ensuring that a fair resolution is reached.