The impact of divorce on retirement savings

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2023 | Divorce |

Many couples in Ohio are making the decision to divorce later on in life. If you are an older adult thinking about splitting from your husband or wife, you may feel especially concerned about having enough retirement savings to keep living the lifestyle you currently enjoy.

Per Investor’s Business Daily, the divorce rate among adults over 50 is rising and has more than doubled since 1990. As a result, a growing number of older adults looking to set themselves up for financial security, post-divorce, are seeking court orders known as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders.

What a QDRO does

A QDRO is a type of domestic relations order that gives you the right to some of your spouse’s retirement savings. For example, if your spouse has a 401(k) or another type of qualified plan, you typically need to have a QDRO if you wish to gain access to it after your divorce finalizes. The exact terms of a QDRO are going to vary from one to the next but must comply with those set forth by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act as well as Ohio’s own domestic relations laws.

Why a QDRO may be a smart move

Dividing retirement savings is often complex, but a QDRO helps make the process more seamless. Also, if the savings in your spouse’s retirement account grow, which is typical, a QDRO allows you to benefit from this.

Research suggests that many people do not realize that QDROs might be an option. According to one estimate, less than half of all Americans understand what they are or who they benefit.