Qualified Domestic Relations Order
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Arizona Retirement Benefits: Know Your Rights!
One of the most critical issues in many divorce cases in Arizona is the division of retirement plans. It is not unusual for a retirement plan to be the most significant asset that a couple owns. Community property division laws in Arizona subject retirement benefits earned during the marriage to division. KTO divides retirement benefits throughout the State of Arizona and beyond.
The law governing retirement plans is highly specialized and requires a special order commonly referred to as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). The name, QDRO, is often used in a generic sense, but it refers to a specific type of order when the retirement is sponsored by a private company. If the retirement plan requiring division is a Federal or State sponsored plan, a QDRO is not utilized, but special dividing orders still need to be drafted in order to complete the retirement division.
R. Kevin O’Brien, Esq. of Keist Thurston O’Brien, P.C. is one of few attorneys in the Phoenix Metropolitan area that has the expertise to draft orders relating to the division of retirement plans. It would be unusual indeed if the family law attorney who handled your divorce would also handle the division of your retirement plans. Mr. O’Brien devotes his entire practice to retirement plan divisions. He is able to serve as a special master to divide retirement plans or to be appointed by the court to divide retirement plans based upon an agreement of opposing attorneys in a divorce case.
Kevin O’Brien has experience with drafting QDRO’s on 401(K) Plans, 403(b) Plans, IRA’s, Annuities, 457 Deferred Compensation Plans, Profit Sharing Plans, ESOP Plans, Military Retirement Plans, and Federal Government Plans (CSRS and FERS). Mr. O’Brien also drafts orders dividing retirement benefits for the Arizona State Retirement System, Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, and the City of Phoenix Employee Retirement System, as well as for CalPERS, CalSTERS, and SDCERS. Mr. O’Brien understands the complexities involved in dealing with pre- and post-retirement survivorship protection, early retirement subsidies and cost of living enhancements. In appropriate cases, he knows how to draft a QDRO which allows a spouse to start receiving his/her share of pension benefits even before the member spouse retires.
If you are seeking a divorce in Arizona and are seeking legal guidance in this area, please contact our law firm to schedule an initial consultation.