As a Former State Attorney, I was employed by the State of Florida. As someone who had a Florida Retirement System(FRS) plan, I know choosing between drop or the investment plans can be a big decision. But what happens to your retirement if you’re a state employee going through a divorce?
Your spouse will likely file what is called a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order). It’s an order by the court that recognizes spouses to receive all or part of your account. The general requirements for QDRO are that is must be signed by the court. It must identify the plan name. It must include basic personal information such as names of parties, social security numbers, etc. It must set out the amount or percentage of benefits and when to calculate the award. It should also indicate payments and when the payments will begin.
Retirement can be considered marital property, and whenever dividing up marital property the court will look factors including: length of the marriage; the overall economic circumstances of each spouse; both spouse’s contributions to the marriage, and both spouse’s debts and liabilities.
Even if your marriage doesn’t last long and amount is small it can still be distributed. In the case of Coleman v. Bland, 2016 WL 830406 (5th DCA 2016) the marriage lasted 39 months, but the career lasted 31 years. The court determined that the payout of 90 dollars a month from the retirement was not a small amount and that it should be awarded to the wife.
If you have questions about how your FRS may be affected by a divorce, contact Frost Law.