When a Client Divorces, Who Walks Away With the Retirement Benefits?

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 11, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

As family law practitioners know, dividing property during a separation is rarely a straightforward matter. Things become significantly more complicated when there are pensions and retirement benefits involved. The prolonged process of splitting up retirement assets requires a complex kind of calculus, one that can frustrate even the most seasoned practitioners.

Thankfully, you don't have to handle these tricky issues alone. The Rutter Group's upcoming Dividing Pension and Retirement Benefits program is there to help you navigate these complex issues.

Just About Everything You Needed to Know

How should you go about identifying retirement assets? What steps must be taken to protect those assets pending division? How do ERISA plans differ from government plans and hybrid plans in the eyes of the law?

These are just some of the questions that The Rutter Group program will address. (Disclosure: The Rutter Group is part of Thomson Reuters, FindLaw's parent company.) The program is set to equip family law attorneys, both new and experienced, with a thorough understanding of the issues raised by dividing retirement benefits, including understanding the difference between plans, how to apportion property interests, and when valuations of those interests are needed.

The program will be led by experts in the field. R. Ann Fallon, of Whiting Fallon Ross & Abel will moderate, while James M. Crawford, Jr., and John C. Madden will present. Fallon has focused on the division of employee benefits since the Retirement Equity Act was passed in 1985, while Crawford has more than three decades' worth of experience in such divisions -- he's even helped write a book on the topic. Finally, Madden, a partner at Moon, Schwartz, and Madden, is an expert in the valuation and division of retirement benefits.

And Then Some

This can't-miss program will be held live in both the Bay Area and Los Angeles later this April. If you can't make it, video replays are also scheduled for Costa Mesa and San Diego in May. Attorneys who participate can earn three hours of MCLE credit.

If that doesn't sell you, there are a few other perks of participation as well. Enrollees will have the chance to buy The Rutter Group's California Practice Guide California Practice Guide: Family Law, and The Rutter Group's California Practice Guide: Family Law Forms for half price. The savings on these indispensable resources more than make up for the cost of attendance.

So, if you're handling the division of pension and retirement benefits and want the best guidance around, sign up for the program here.

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