view our Practice areas

Don't discount a 401(k) in a divorce agreement

Not everything is on the table when it comes to asset distribution when a couple separates. Some Connecticut couples heading toward divorce may not be aware that a partner's retirement or 401(k) plan could be a divisible asset if it meets certain criteria regarding the laws that govern retirement plans. In most instances, federal law provides that these types of plans can't be switched over to someone else; however,  there is a provision that allows a family court to order a retirement plan be shared with a spouse.

If that should be the case, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) needs to get a court stamp of approval. This order will allow 401(k) non-taxable assets to be transferred from one party to another by way of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). A QDRO could also be used to transfer retirement fund assets to a child as part of a child support agreement.

So, 401(k) plans should always be considered when dividing assets in a divorce settlement. If there is some question as to the value of these plans, a concerned spouse may choose to enlist the aid of a lawyer or an actuary. They would be familiar with the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Divorce issues aren't always black and white, so when a Connecticut attorney presents a client with a divorce settlement, the client should ensure any retirement plans figure in the deal if allowed by law. A lawyer can explain these issues to a client in a concise, easily understood way. Asking questions about these types of sometimes overlooked issues is never a bad idea.





Source:, "Don't overlook a 401(k) in a divorce", Julie Jason, Accessed on Jan. 28, 2018

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Listen, We Help, We Care

  • Hi Yuliana and Attorney Prince, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. I really appreciated how compassionate you were while listening to my situation, even through my tears. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me. I left feeling very hopeful that when the dust settles, I’ll be ok.
  • Wendy helped guide us through a very difficult and emotional process and was really able to provide an even and fair account for both parties. It's quite evident in her expertise in this area but the way she was able to make you feel safe and secure in a very insecure time goes far beyond her legal prowess. If the two parties are really willing to cooperate and collaborate, she's there to help gain the best possible solution for all involved, especially if there are children.
  • Regardless of how committed one is to the fact that divorce may be imminent and necessary, it is truly one of the most emotional and stressful situations one can experience. It can also be daunting. Wendy has a remarkable ability to cut through the noise and help you focus on the big picture while drilling down on what is most pertinent to your particular situation., they are a formidable team who work collectively with your best interests in mind.
Email Us For a Response

Let Us Help You Move Forward

Call The Prince Law Group, LLC, in Stamford, Connecticut, at 203-977-3700 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers. We will accommodate your schedule with an evening appointment. Spanish translator services available.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Prince Law Group BBB Business Review
Review Us

1 Atlantic Street
6th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: 203-653-8483
Stamford Law Office Map

The Prince Law Group

Valet Parking at the Marriott Courtyard

Flexible Hours – Evening Hours Available by Appointment

Walking Distance to the Stamford Train Station