In Texas, you and your spouse each own roughly 50% of the assets acquired while married. Therefore, you can expect to receive roughly half of the assets that you shared with your former husband or wife. However, there are certain protocols that may need to be followed if you’re planning on dividing money inside of a 401(k) or other retirement accounts.

Plans may need to be divided per the terms of a court order

A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) allows you to withdraw a portion of your spouse’s retirement savings and deposit it into an IRA. The order may also provide for alternate means of transferring money from an existing retirement account. It is important to note that a QDRO is only needed if you’re looking to divide money in a 401(k) or any other account covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Standard QDROs may not always meet your needs

There is a good chance that a plan administrator will have a boilerplate QDRO form that you can use when dividing qualified retirement assets. However, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney who has experience in drafting QDROs. An attorney will work faster and be less likely to make an error.

IRA and SEP plans can be divided without a QDRO

If your spouse has an IRA or SEP plan, money can be transferred to an account in your name without a QDRO. However, it is still important to hold off on a withdrawal until after a divorce decree is issued. Otherwise, you could have to pay early withdrawal and income taxes.

An attorney may be able to help you obtain a favorable divorce settlement in a timely and affordable manner. In addition to assisting with property division matters, a legal representative may also help parents obtain custody or visitation rights to their children.