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What are the challenges with dividing retirement plan assets?

One of the most complex issues during a divorce in Colorado is dividing assets. Even if you think it will be easy because you have kept your assets separate or have agreed upon who gets the house, car and other large assets, you may face a surprise when it comes down to certain assets you may not have given much thought to. If either of you has a retirement account, things get tricky fast. Dividing a retirement account is not as simple as it may seem.

Forbes explains that retirement accounts are automatically something the court will divide unless you have a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise. Things are difficult because a retirement account may include investments that could grow in value. In addition, they come with tax penalties if you withdraw money too early, which will happen if you have to split the account. If you can rollover the benefits into your own account, this can save some headaches when it comes to taxes and penalties.

Another issue is that you cannot just go into an account and take money. You need to have a special order form the court called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The QDRO gives your spouse rights to your account. It allows you to actually get the money the court says is due to you.

If your retirement account has a daily value, then it will be easier to divide it because you will know exactly what it is worth. However, if this is not the case, it may require some financial footwork to determine the value of the account and how to divide it. This information is for education and is not legal advice.