Retirement Plan Benefits and QDROs in Divorce

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9780808011231: Retirement Plan Benefits and QDROs in Divorce
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Every year, well over one million Americans obtain a divorce. Retirement savings represent one of, if not the most, significant assets of most individuals, with typically more than 75% of a couple's assets comprised of retirement savings. The division of retirement benefits in a divorce is effected by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Under a QDRO, a portion of an employee's retirement benefits may be assigned to someone other than the plan participant to fulfill that individual's marital property settlement or family support obligations. The accurate valuation and allocation of retirement benefits in divorce proceedings are thus critical aspects of the divorce process, and accountants who provide litigation support services, family law attorneys, benefits specialists advising individuals and other professionals involved in divorce proceedings need to under the methods and legal requirements. Unfortunately for practitioners, these topics are complex and are not comprehensively covered by undergraduate or graduate coursework. Neither the CPA examination nor coursework in undergraduate/graduate accounting programs cover the topics of valuing retirement benefits or QDROs, yet more and more CPAs are engaging in this work and are called into court to testify on these particular financial issues. Similarly, family law attorneys and even judges hearing marital dissolution cases often have little familiarity with QDRO requirements and their potential importance as a marital asset. This lack of understanding leads to poor drafting, exposing an attorney to potential malpractice liability, and missed opportunities to maximize a client's ability to collect what is duly owed. CCH's Retirement Plan Benefits and QDROs in Divorce provides detailed guidance on the issues attendant to examining and valuing retirement benefits in divorce and drafting QDROs and non-ERISA plan orders. Coverage includes discussions of: viewing retirement plans as assets; determining whether to use a valuation of a retirement plan to offset its value against other marital assets or to draft a QDRO; discovery; the procedure for valuing retirement plans, including the characteristics of pension valuations and other considerations in valuation such as vesting and pensions in payout status; effective drafting of QDROs for divorce and related orders, including the use of model orders; use of QDROs for child support arrearages; tax treatment of benefits; non-ERISA plans, including the civil service retirement system, military plans, and city and county plans; malpractice considerations; and more. Retirement Plan Benefits and QDROs in Divorce is a practical, easy-to-understand resource for this complex area of practice. It includes helpful case studies, examples, proposed settlement agreement language, and more. And, unlike other books currently available on the subject, this new title is the only title oriented to accountants as well as attorneys. All the key advisers to the divorce, whether drafting attorney, accounting/benefit valuation professional or other specialists should understand the issues, so they can effectively contribute to the settlement. In terms of placing a value on a retirement plan, a better educated practitioner can examine a pension valuation presented by an "expert" and not be intimidated by the methodology. Written by Timothy Voit, a full-time specialist engaged in retirement plan valuation and QDRO drafting, this book focuses on pensions because they tend to be the largest marital asset, in terms of value. The discussion is divided into two main parts--the valuation of retirement plans and the drafting of court orders dividing retirement plans using a QDRO or like court order, with the chapters placed in order based on their relevance to the divorce process in general.

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About the Author:

Timothy Voit is a Financial Analyst and President of Voit Econometrics Group, Inc. Mr. Voit's practice includes advising on the drafting of QDROs, valuing retirement plans for divorce and analysis plans for securities/investment litigation. He also performs economic analysis and research in areas involving divorce planning, financial planning, and QDROs. Mr. Voit establishes retirement plans for law firms and other businesses, is an Investment Advisor for Voit & Hamilton, LLC and an arbitrator for the NASD. He is a court admitted expert on the drafting of QDROs, and is often called upon in legal malpractice cases to fix QDROs and to compute or minimize damages for the insurance carrier. Mr. Voit frequently writes for several bar journals, and he lectures for Continuing Legal Education around the country. Voit Econometrics Group, Inc. is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Naples, Florida.

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Timothy Voit
Published by CCH Incorporated (2004)
ISBN 10: 0808011235 ISBN 13: 9780808011231
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