In general, pensions and retirement accounts are divided based upon their increase in value during the time of the marriage. As an example, if the parties are married for 15 years and the retirement has been amassed over 20 years, 75% of the retirement account would be community property. The non-participating spouse would be entitled to 37.5% of the value of the pension as of the time of divorce. Typically, a court order would be prepared by the attorneys to divide these accounts after the divorce has been finalized.
New Mexico Division of Retirement Benefits Lawyer
What Happens to Retirement in Divorce?
Need Help With Retirement Benefits?
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a lawyer to assess and divide pensions and retirement accounts?
Yes, it is always advisable to involve your lawyer as early as possible in the process when discussing the key elements of a divorce settlement:
• The division of assets (including retirement)
• Child custody and visitation rights
• Child support
• Spousal support
Because divorces are emotional times for the parties concerned, an experienced divorce attorney can mitigate the stress and help you make clearer decisions that are in your immediate and long-term interests.
When it comes to pensions and retirement accounts, this can be a complex area that requires experienced advice and knowledge of various pension systems. An expert may need to be hired to value a pension and/or to prepare the QDRO.
You need someone to help guide you with:
• How retirement benefits are divided?
• Who is going to pay?
• When are payments going to be made?
• For how long will payments apply?
You also require a lawyer who understands the relevant changes to the law regarding pension payments to ex-spouses. Mistakes can cost you many thousands of dollars.
Our lawyers have specialist knowledge in this area, including in the division of military retirement benefits. Our lawyers also know the right experts to help value and/or divide retirement benefits.
Common mistakes with dividing retirement benefits
Mistakes are commonly made in this area – even by established New Mexico lawyers. These can be very costly.
Some typical errors include:
• Not addressing the survivor benefit in the first decree (and therefore losing your rights to the benefit)
• Not understanding that retirement benefits are pre-tax (so withdrawing cash will be taxed)
• Not notifying the plan administrator that there will be a division of the plan
How our lawyers can help you reach fair results
The experienced lawyers at New Mexico Legal Group can help ensure that you’re not losing thousands of dollars by incorrectly dividing pensions and retirement benefits.
Over the years, we’ve worked with so many different pension plans for the benefit of our clients that we have built considerable specialist knowledge of how to get the best results.
We will guide you towards an agreement that is fair and equitable and that can be approved by the court.
So that we can look out for your best interests, involve your lawyer at the beginning of your divorce discussions before you start dividing assets.
Need help with the division of retirement benefits in Albuquerque or Las Cruces??
Call New Mexico Legal Group at (505) 843-7303 to reach our Albuquerque office or (575) 339-2100 to reach our Las Cruces office. Get started with a free case evaluation.
2701 Arizona Street NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Rio Rancho Office
4351 Jager Dr., NE
Rio Rancho, NM 87102
Las Cruces Office
300 S Water St.
Las Cruces, NM 88001