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As part of the dissolution process, all community property assets are subject to division, including retirement assets. There are specific orders that are used to divide retirement assets, known as Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO). These orders generally define (1) how the community property interest in a spouse’s retirement is calculated, and (2) how the non-employee spouse is going to receive his or her share of that retirement. If the retirement account is a 401(k) or IRA, or other form of defined contribution plan, the non-employee spouse may be able to immediately take his/her share of the retirement asset and move it into an IRA in his/her own name. If the retirement is from a pension, the non-employee spouse may receive his or her share of the retirement on a monthly basis, after the participant spouse retires. QDROs
are utilized even if the employee spouse has already retired and is receiving retirement income.