What happens to Kentucky TRS and KPPA pensions in a Louisville divorce? What does a teacher, a public employee and/or their spouse need to know about how these accounts will be managed during property division in a divorce?
Generally speaking, all debts and assets obtained by either or both parties from the date of the marriage until the date of separation are to be considered marital property in the context of a divorce. Marital property is to be equally divided between the parties.
In the absence of an enforceable agreement to the contrary, the contributions made by a spouse during the marriage, defined plan benefits and associated compounding or growth are going to be considered as marital property. The benefit of these retirement and pension plans and associated payouts may not have begun, and may actually be years in the future. However, each former spouse is entitled to a division of the marital property interest in the benefits of Kentucky TRS and KPPA pensions in a Louisville divorce.
Public pensions can represent some of the largest assets if not the largest asset in a Louisville divorce. This is why it is so important to work with the experienced, proven divorce and family law attorneys at Dodd & Dodd. A single mistake could literally cost you a substantial sum of money, literally tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The order of the Court itself is not enough to split Kentucky TRS and KPPA pensions in a Louisville divorce. The plan administrator will require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) which is specific to the pension in question. These documents must be legally precise and contain instructions accepted by the pension plan. Kentucky TRS and KPPA also require a “joinder” as part of the process. In essence, the non-member must “join” the plan as a party due to the divorce. The QDRO and Joinder must be carefully crafted to protect our clients interests and ensure fulfillment of the Court’s orders regarding property division of these retirement assets.
Each plan has other options for the non-member spouse which should be reviewed and evaluated prior to selection of the final process for dividing the Kentucky TRS or KPPA account. This is especially true if the account holder has already retired or retires during the process of the divorce.
How will you protect the substantial financial interests associated with these retirement pensions in your own divorce? We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our former clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.