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Retirement Plans & Divorce

Buffalo Lawyers Help Protect Retirement Plans During Divorce

Family law attorneys advise Western New York clients on division of investments

Your retirement savings have a tremendous impact on your financial security, and protecting them during the marriage dissolution process is critical. Like all marital assets in a divorce, retirement plans including pensions and 401(k) accounts are subject to division between the parties. Because these holdings are highly regulated and often hold significant financial value, they should be handled properly and their treatment should be negotiated strategically to protect your interests. At the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis in Williamsville and downtown Buffalo, our attorneys help position you for a stable financial future.

Experienced firm assists with the distribution of pensions and other assets

In New York State, 401(k) accounts, IRAs, pension plans and other retirement benefits earned during a marriage are considered marital property. In some circumstances, spouses may negotiate the asset division in a settlement process. This might be easier when both parties have substantial holdings in their own retirement accounts. In other cases, a stay-at-home spouse may be entitled to a certain percentage of their partner’s retirement account’s value based on the accrual that occurred while the couple was wed. That calculation can depend on the length of the marriage and other factors. A long marriage might result in 50 percent of the increase going to the stay-at-home spouse. A shorter marriage could lead to a lesser share.

How qualified domestic relations orders are used to divide future benefits

Unlike a savings account, or even a house, retirement plans are complex financial instruments that usually cannot be liquidated without significant tax liabilities. Once a court decides, or the parties settle on, how retirement accounts should be distributed, our firm can notify the plan administrator regarding the arrangement and prepare a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). In the case of government pensions, a domestic relations order (DRO) is used.

A QDRO declares how much each party will receive when the parties are eligible to receive benefits under the plan. Our experienced lawyers understand the importance of obtaining QDROs as soon as possible during the divorce process to prevent complications that can arise when a spouse tries drain assets from their retirement account or suffers an untimely death.

In high net worth divorce cases, one spouse may worry that the other one is hiding retirement accounts. Having a skilled divorce lawyer at your side who has experience dividing retirement assets during a divorce can help you obtain the benefits you’re entitled to by identifying accounts that might have been overlooked or hidden.

Knowledgeable divorce lawyers help protect your financial interests

Achieving a fair property division in divorce usually requires a competent, experienced legal team. Our firm consults with experts when necessary to determine the true value of assets within the marital estate, including any retirement accounts. Not only is it critical that your family law attorneys understand the intricacies of financial instruments and the laws around their division in a divorce, they must also notify financial institutions promptly with the proper court order. We know that most divorcing spouses are looking to end the marriage dissolution process quickly, but we never lose sight of the fact that your future depends on carefully protecting the financial resources you’ll need in retirement.

Contact a Buffalo divorce lawyer for advice on dividing retirement plan assets

Call the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis today at 716-886-9600 or contact our firm online to schedule an initial consultation regarding retirement plan concerns and any other aspect of the divorce process. From our offices in Williamsville and downtown Buffalo, we represent clients throughout Western New York.

Randy  S.  Margulis Attorney Photo
Randy S. Margulis
Member

As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 27 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.

Alexandra M. Rockwood Attorney Photo
Alexandra M. Rockwood
Associate

Alexandra M. Rockwood is an Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She practices primarily in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Ms. Rockwood graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in History and minors in Political…

Reviews & Ratings
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Divorce is always an unpleasant event and my case was no exception, yet the guidance, professionalism and ethical strategy that Randy Margulis provided was essential in finding the best solutions for my children, my ex-wife and myself. As the proces...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy Margulis is knowledgable of Domestic Law, dedicated, responsive, personable, aggressive and effective. I came to him on a friend's recommendation as well as Randy's reputation, and during the initial consultation I liked his approach and track ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Found Mr. Margulis to be a very organized and professional individual to work with. He is well-respected by his peers and is spoken of highly, I believe this helped with my divorce and made things go smoothly. I would highly recommend his services ...

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    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Randy is very firm and effective in court while empathetic to his clients. I am a domestic violence victim, and Randy made me feel safe and protected. My financial award was more than I envisioned it to be when I started my divorce. I can't thank ...

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