Federal Way, WA asked in Divorce for Washington

Q: Is my wife in titled to half of my pension after only 4 years of marriage.

My wife had 4 affairs and paid off all her student loans without me knowing. Not to mention she also had a abortion without telling me.

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

A: Money earned from employment during marriage is community property in Washington, including deferred compensation like pensions and 401ks. Non-community property states often consider money earned during marriage to belong to both parties too. The part of a retirement account that is divisible at divorce is the part that was earned during marriage. So if a marriage is short, the divisible part will be smaller than if the marriage is long.

Most retirement plans require qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) to divide retirement assets, and that process should be addressed in divorce proceedings. If your divorce lawyer tells you they "don't do QDROs", then ask them for a referral to a lawyer who does. Lawyers who focus on QDROs usually charge a flat fee rather than by the hour.

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