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What is the law for dividing Colorado public retirement accounts?

There are several issues that will come to the forefront in a Colorado divorce. Property division is one. When there is a public employee retirement benefit plan, there are certain rules that must be in place for it to be divided via written agreement. Both the spouse who has the job with the retirement account and the spouse who did not should understand this and act accordingly.

In the written agreement for the division of a public employment retirement account, there must be the name and personal information of the person who is receiving the account along with the alternate payee and his or her relationship with the person. If there is an agreement regarding a defined benefit plan, it must note how the distribution plan. When there is an agreement with a defined contribution plan, the amount the alternate payee is due to receive must be listed in a lump sum or via percentage at the specific date.

It will not dole payments to the alternate payee or the person who holds the account if they are not eligible for it had they not divorced. The payments will not need to be made before the date at which they are due to start or before the person turns 65 or retires - whichever comes later. There must be a provision that the rights of the alternate payee will end when they are involuntarily terminated or when the alternate payee dies unless there is a benefit option allowing for it.

The payments must be made in a way that is allowable based on the plan. The payments will not be required to be paid to a different alternate payee or if they are under lien or assignment. The account must specify that it will be applicable to a successor plan. It must comply with rules and procedures based on the agreement. And the order must be court-certified and the retirement plan must receive the certification a minimum of 30 days prior to the first payment being made.

When a marriage is ending, there will likely be a great deal of emotional and personal upheaval. Certain issues can be caught in the shuffle and confusion can ensue. Such is the case with retirement accounts where there are certain rules that could seem difficult to understand. For both the person who holds the account and the former spouse, having legal assistance with this type of property division is crucial and a law firm experienced in divorce can help.

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