There are a lot of people who are nervous to get divorced for financial reasons. They don’t want to stay married romantically. They may have a spouse that they feel uncomfortable or even unsafe living with. But they also feel financially dependent on that person.
Perhaps their spouse is the main breadwinner and has a great pension plan at work. Someone who is 55 years old may decide that they want to get divorced, but they may have spent their entire life planning to retire on their spouse’s pension. They’re worried that asking for a divorce means that retirement won’t be possible and they only have a short time to save up on their own.
Enter the QDRO
If you find yourself in this position, it’s important to note that you can use a qualified domestic relations order. This is usually called a QDRO. It can help you divide financial assets properly so that you don’t worry as much about the impact of divorce on your retirement.
Specifically, the court can set the QDRO up so that a percentage of your spouse’s retirement plan is assigned to you as you and your spouse divide your other financial assets. Your spouse may not yet be getting that pension because they haven’t retired, but the QDRO still works for a pension that is paid out at a future date. Whenever your spouse does retire, you still get a portion of the pension earned during your marriage, which can help you with your own retirement plans.
You can see how complicated something like this can become, so make sure you know about all the legal steps you need to take to best protect your future.