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What Must I Do to Protect Myself During the Divorce Proceeding for My Entitlement's to my Husband's Pension(s)?

Q. Vanessa W. from Columbus, OH asks: "What Must I Do to Protect Myself During the Divorce Proceeding for My Entitlement's to my Husband's Pension(s)?"

A. Evan from Pension Evaluators & QDROS Of Troyan, Inc Associates Group, answers: "In order to receive a portion of your husband's pension(s), you must include language in your settlement agreement per your jurisdiction delineating your entitlements to his deferred pay programs.

The court should then award you a share as part of the divorce or legal separation proceeding.

If your husband has more than one pension (for instance a 401(k) plan and a traditional pension), your settlement must refer to each plan in order to get benefits from both.

You should obtain as much information as possible from your husband's company benefits office. Under the law, you are a beneficiary with the right to receive the information. However, it is frequent that the pension plan will not send the information without the direct written authorization signed by the pensioned spouse per the Patriot Act.

We suggest that upon our retention we be permitted to notify the pension plan administrator in writing that you are in the process of a divorce in order to prevent the plan from paying out your share of the pension to your husband before the divorce is finalized."

Evan Edelstein

Lead QDRO Writer

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