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Massachusetts Divorce: Pensions

In Massachusetts Divorces, where either spouse has a pension or retirement plan, the marital share of those assets are routinely divided in accordance with the principals of equitable division of property as set forth within Massachusetts General Laws. ch. 208 s 34. Generally, Courts consider the marital share as that amount of an asset which was acquired during the course of the marriage. Further, that share can also be calculated by an increase or accrual of value during the marriage of an asset owned prior to the marriage. In most cases and once an agreement over the division has been reached,experienced divorce attorneys will retain an actuary or some other professional to draft QDRO's (qualified domestic relations orders) or DRO's (domestic relations orders) to effect the division of such plans. The type of order needed depends on the exact type of pension or retirement plan. Careful attention needs to be placed on the type of pension or retirement plan. For example, there are defined benefit plans which may include federal, state, military and municipal pensions. Also, there are contributory retirement accounts such as a Roth or Traditional IRA, 401K, 457 and 403B accounts. Each of these plans and accounts require careful analysis of possible federal and state tax implications as well as an assessment of the actual benefit to which one may be entitled.

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Roncone Law Offices, P.C.

142 Main Street
Leominster, MA 01453

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