Are Retirement Benefits Subject to Division?

The short answer is yes: retirement benefits earned and accrued during the marriage are considered community property and are therefore subject to division in a divorce. Retirement benefits can be a tricky area in a divorce, especially when one’s employment extends to both before and during the marriage. However, the exact value of the benefits that each party is entitled to depends on a variety of factors, including the time at which they were earned, and the reasons for which they were earned, among others. Once the parties determine exactly who is entitled to what, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO, may be needed. A QDRO is a special court order that addresses the division of retirement benefits.