Oak Harbor, WA asked in Family Law for Washington

Q: My husband recently moved out (17 year marriage) and we do not know what direction we will go(below)

We have discussed setting up separate checking accounts to make management easier (leave all savings alone). Verbal agreement on who would pay what bills. Would any arrangement we set up now negatively effect me if we divorce in the future? Two minor children live with me.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marjorie Simmons
Marjorie Simmons
  • Burlington, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Possibly, especially with regard to retirement accounts. If either of you have retirement accounts, you should do QDROs now and not wait for the dissolution proceeding. A QDRO is a qualified domestic relations order that splits a retirement account. Most retirement plans have strict rules on splitting accounts, and if you do not attend to this right away, you risk losing your part of the marital portion of your benefits. QDROs are not do-it-yourself affairs, so see an attorney right away for this. Most lawyers who do QDROs (not all divorce lawyers do them) will charge a flat fee rather than an hourly fee, and that can help keep costs down.

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