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What “gray divorce” means for you and your finances

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Divorce |

After being married for 20 years or more, you and your spouse have realized you are not a good match for each other. While you are looking forward to being single, you are also worried about your financial future.

At your spouse’s request, you stayed home to take care of your children. While you worked part-time after your youngest left the nest, you do not have a retirement account.

After being married for a few decades, you worry about your financial future

Without retirement income to look forward to, you are looking at a future where you may have to return to work or even live with one of your children. This is not something you want to do.

Your soon-to-be-former spouse has accumulated a large nest egg composed of retirement benefits and stocks. Should you expect your spouse to make spousal support payments? Or should you have this put into the divorce papers?

Are you entitled to half of your spouse’s retirement benefits?

Because Ohio is not a community property state, marital property may be divided in what is called “equitable distribution.” State law allows you to make a claim to some of your spouse’s retirement benefits.

In community property states, every piece of property and income that was acquired during a marriage, including retirement funds, will be equally divided.

What a QDRO means for you

“QRDO” means “Qualified Domestic Relations Order.” This is an order delivered by a court, allowing a former spouse to collect funds from a former spouse’s retirement account.

This order also describes how the former spouse’s retirement assets should be divided between the spouse for whom the retirement plan was created and their former spouse. If the retirement plan is covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, this language is a requirement.