Towson Divorce Lawyer | Marital Property | Retirement Interensts
Amar S. Weisman Has A Track Record of Protecting Clients
Amar S. Weisman is distinguished by Expertise.Com as one of the 21 Best Divorce Lawyers in Baltimore for 2020 and recognized as one of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in Maryland by Attorney And Practice Magazine. He has also been recognized since 2016 as one of the top 10 lawyers for client service by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys: Mr. Weisman is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Peter Angelos School of Law.
Retirement Assets Are Subject to Equitable Distribution
Retirement assets accrued during the course of the marriage are subject to equitable distribution pursuant to the Marital Property Act upon the dissolution of the marriage. In instances where a portion of the retirement assets was acquired prior to the marriage, and another portion accrued post-wedding, the Court may employ the Bangs Formula, as established in the 1984 Court of Appeals case, Bangs v. Bangs., to allocate the retirement assets on a proportional basis. Specific regulations may also be applicable to military retirement assets and deferred compensation plans.
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
During the divorce proceedings, specific retirement assets are subject to division via a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). To ensure accurate distribution of funds in accordance with the final divorce judgment and Marital Settlement Agreement, these orders must be meticulously drafted for precision.
Types of Retirement Assets Divisible In Divorce
Marital property includes all property acquired during the marriage; however, titled meaning. Unless there is a prenuptial agreement, all retirement earned by either party during the marriage is marital property subject to equitable distribution. Divisible assets include but are not limited to:
- Traditional pensions, often maintained by municipalities, like Baltimore City's Board of Fire & Police Employees Retirement System.
- Military Retirement/Blended Retirement System
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
- Roth IRA accounts, each with their own tax implications
- Federal Thrift Savings Plans, commonly held by federal employees
- DFAS Army Retirement plans, governed by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service
- Federal Employee’s Retirement System (FERS) benefits
- Restricted Stock Options which may require a forensic evaluation.
- 401(k) plans managed by financial institutions
- 503(b) retirement plans, usually offered by public education organizations and non-profits
- Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay (CRDP)
- Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs
- Profit-sharing Plans
- Annuities, often purchased as part of a retirement package and subject to specific distribution rules
- Defined Benefit Plans, typically promising a specified monthly benefit at retirement
- Deferred Compensation Plans, such as 457 plans, common among state and local government and certain non-profit employees
- Cash Balance Plans, a type of pension plan that functions similarly to a defined contribution plan
- SEP-IRA, Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangements, usually established by business owners
- Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans, not held to ERISA guidelines, typically reserved for executive-level positions and subject to sophisticated forensic evaluation.
- Railroad Retirement benefits, which are a whole different story.
- State and Local Government Pensions, for teachers and employees of local community colleges.
- Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans, often set up by self-employed individuals or small business owners
Early Retirement Penalties
Early retirement penalties are not typically considered on an economic basis unless early retirement is going to occur. However, Maryland has specific rules concerning considering these penalties during a divorce. In any case, your attorney can pursue establishing the handling of such corrections before valuation procedures take place.
Math, Computation & Valuation
It is common for employers, including government agencies, to mandate employee contributions to a pension plan as a term of employment. Employers generally match these contributions to varying degrees. The accumulated contributions and earnings are held in an account designated for the employee. Once vesting requirements are met, employees may have the option to withdraw these funds upon leaving their job. However, exercising this option should be approached with caution. The immediate cash-out value of the plan may be substantially less than the present value of the future benefits, particularly for long-term employees. Given these complexities, individuals going through a divorce should consult a knowledgeable divorce attorney to ensure an accurate valuation and equitable distribution of these retirement assets.Call (410) 321-4994 For Consultation
Call For Free Consultation with Baltimore Divorce Lawyer Amar S. WEisman
Please Call (410) 321-4994 during business hours to schedule a free consultation to decide whether you want to retain Amar S. Weisman. The firm does not accept pro bono clients at this time. To have legal services and advice, you must pay a retainer, See Policy on Fees/Costs. The law firm is located in the heart of Towson near The Circuit Court For Baltimore County, Towson Town Center, Goucher College, and Towson University, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road (MD-146), Second Floor Towson, MD 21204. We represent clients throughout the Baltimore area, including Aberdeen, Abingdon, Baldwin, Bel Air, Bowleys Quarters, Brooklandville, Carney, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Edgewood, Essex, Garrison, Glen Arm, Greenspring Valley, Homeland, Hunt Valley, Hydes, the Joppa Road Corridor, Kingsville, Long Green, Lutherville, Middle River, Nottingham, Owings Mills, Parkville, Pikesville, Perry Hall, Reisterstown, Riderwood, Rodgers Forge, Rosedale, Ruxton, Sparks, Sparrows Point, Stoneleigh, Timonium, Towson, West Towson, White Hall, White Marsh, and the York Road corridor. We have also represented several out-of-state clients. The law firm does not guarantee the results in any matter.