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Division of retirement accounts p11in a divorce case can be complex and confusing. Retirement assets can have significant value unknown to the parties. Often times retirement accounts constitute major assets in a divorce case.

Attorney Mehaffie helps divorce clients determine whether retirement accounts are marital assets. Sometimes a spouse is only entitled to a portion of retirement accounts in divorce cases.


Defined Contribution Plans such as 401(k)s, Profit Sharing Plans, SEPs and ESOPs are easily valued by obtaining statements. Defined Benefit Plans such as the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), the Public School Employee’s Retirement System (PSERS) and Federal pension plans (FERS, CSRS) are often valued by an actuary to obtain an accurate present value.  Other retirement assets of value in a divorce case that may require valuation include life insurance annuities, military retirement benefits, Roth IRA’s, IRA’s and TIAA CREF accounts.

Sometimes clients do not know what retirement accounts exist. Attorney Mehaffie can help you understand find out if there are retirement accounts and obtain values for each plan. She can explain how various retirement plans may be divided  in the divorce case. We work with experienced financial experts to value these assets.

We also help our clients understand that both vested and non-vested retirement benefits are marital property subject to distribution.

Some retirement plans have a survivorship benefits. We help you address cost for these benefits and who will pay the costs.  If a retirement plan does not have a survivorship benefit, we advise you on how to protect your interests in the plan at critical times in the divorce process.


Retirement assets can be divided by immediate offset method or transferred by a special court order, often times referred to as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or “DRO.” Attorney Mehaffie works with experts to divide retirement assets and she is knowledgeable of many important complicated issues when handling these matters.

For a private meeting to discuss your case please contact the Law Office of Debra R. Mehaffie by calling (717) 790-2403.