Question asked on Sept 06th, 2017
Q: I just want to know my rights and how to go about protecting my retirement.
A: Your question is too vague to answer — it is not clear what you are trying to learn. Normally, “defined contribution” types of accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s are divided by determining the community share by “direct tracing.” You find out what the balance was at the start of the marriage, attribute to that balance a rate of growth during the marriage, and preserve that as the separate property of the owner. What remains for division is the contributions during the marriage and the growth on those marital contributions. An explanation of some of those concepts is on the property division and QDRO pages of the main firm website, here, and here, and on the website of our QDRO-drafting division, here. Feel free to call if you have further questions.