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Q is for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. These orders are often commonly referred to as QDROs. QDROs are court orders that allow a spouse whose name is not on a retirement plan to receive benefits or monies from the retirement plan. QDROS are used for retirement plans including 401k plans, defined benefit pensions, 403b plans, and other employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Assuming you need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to access a retirement account--and you should never make this assumption without first speaking to an attorney--getting one is really the least of your worries. There are companies that are dedicated to drafting QDROS....

We are up to P in our Divorce from A to Z series.  P is for Property Division.  There are often a lot of questions about property in a divorce, including what is yours, what is mine, and what is ours.  What gets divided up? Who decides who gets what? Are there things that can't be divided up?  We'll cover the most common questions regarding property division. Because California is a community property state, any property that you acquired during the marriage is likely going to be "ours" and needs to be divided fairly equally.  If you have a prenuptial agreement,...

This week, we are up to the letter K in our Divorce from A to Z series. This week's topic is Kick Out Orders.  A Kick Out Order is an order where the Judge orders that one of the spouses has to move out of the family home. These orders are a lot more rare than most broken-hearted divorcees realize. California courts are resistant to throwing people into the streets when they are going through a divorce. Unless, of course, there is a restraining order against the spouse to be ousted. For parties whose marital issues do not justify the issuance...

In the 6th post of our Divorce from A-Z series, we are up to the letter F and are discussing the Financial Disclosures that have to be made during a divorce in California. Preliminary financial disclosures are required as part of the divorce process.  You have to share certain financial information with your spouse, including your income and expenses (form FL-150), along with your assets and debts (form FL-142). These two forms help both you and the court figure out what is community property.  Because California is a community property state, assets and debts acquired during the marriage belong to both...

E is for Equalizing Payments. In the next installment of our Divorce A to Z series, we explain what Equalizing Payments are and why they may matter for your divorce. If you are going through a divorce, you have probably heard or read more than once that the court will divide all your community property in half. It seems pretty straightforward when you are talking about bank accounts or the proceeds from selling an item of community property. But what if you both want to keep the cat (legally pets are property) or the couch? How does a judge divide...