Jump to Navigation

Understanding the division of retirement benefits

Between pensions, individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s, it can be quite complicated to determine how retirement funds will be divided in a New York divorce. Currently, pension benefits are often divided by using what is known as the Majauskas Formula. This formula was established in Majauskas v. Majauskas in the State Court of Appeals. If the parties negotiate a different equitable distribution choice or the court modifies the formula, a different amount of the pension may be awarded to the ex-spouse.

The Majauskas formula gives the ex-spouse half of the pension that was earned during the marriage. The years of service credit that were built up during the marriage is multiplied by 50 percent. That total is then divided by the total service credit when the person retires.

Other choices include a flat dollar amount, a share calculated as of a certain date and a modification to the Majauskas formula. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is used to lay out exactly how much the ex-spouse will receive. A QDRO can be very complex, too, and there are specific legalities that must be followed when it is drawn up. An attorney is needed during this step of your divorce and he or she needs to be experienced in completing QDRO forms.

Divorce isn't easy, but when a couple can amicably negotiate the terms of property division, child custody, child support and alimony, the process can be much less difficult to go through. Your divorce lawyer can provide more information on dividing pensions and other retirement funds so that you receive the portion you are entitled to.

Source: Office of the New York State Comptroller, "Guide to Domestic Relations Orders," accessed Dec. 23, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Contact Us

Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

1325 Franklin Avenue
Suite 210
Garden City, NY 11530-1631

Phone: (800) 722-1342
Fax: (516) 877-7760

E-mail the Firm

Case Evaluation Form

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

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.

close

Privacy Policy

Located just minutes from the Nassau County Supreme Court, Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C. has provided premium family law and business law services to clients throughout New York for almost three decades.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING

AV Rated

CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.