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There are many issues that need to be considered during the process of getting a divorce. The following checklist may be of help to simplify the necessary steps you need to take in regard to your benefit plans.
- The Pension Trust is mandated by law to have a procedure by which the two parties to a divorce may determine and allocate the participant’s pension benefit. The legal name for the order which must be approved and filed with both the pension plan and the court is the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO, pronounced kwadro).
- The attorney who will draft the QDRO will probably wish to obtain a copy of the summary plan description and the pension plan document. Send an email to the Trust Customer Service Office to request these documents be mailed to the attorney. Also, the attorney will need the QDRO information forms.
- Since your family status changes as the result of a divorce, you need to notify the Trust Customer Service Office within 60 days after the divorce becomes final. The office will notify your ex-spouse of any continuing coverage options. You will have to submit a copy of the final divorce decree to finalize changes to your benefits.
- You will want to review your designation of beneficiary for both the Pension and Health Plans.
- If you are already retired when you become divorced, see Section 11.3 regarding your form of payment options.
Financial planners recommend that persons undergoing a divorce should review and update a number of personal plans and documents. Here is a checklist of some items which you may need to update, revise, or consider:
- Living Trust
- Estate Plan
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Designation of Beneficiary: IRA, 401k, Life Insurance
- Adequacy of Life Insurance
- Adequacy of Disability Insurance
Information on the subjects of divorce, child support, custody, visitation, and spousal support, and a directory of U.S. divorce lawyers.
- Divorce Support
Divorce links, books, and a directory of professionals.
- Lemonade Divorce
Information: child custody evaluations, divorce laws, clinical psychology. A small collection of articles, several are good. The emphasis is on the psychologist’s role in divorce/custody cases.