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Pensions, Retirement Accounts, and Divorce
Faculty Members: Family lawyers Carolyn M. Grimes, Rebecca Janet Wade, and Jessica L. Leischner

Facilitator: Diana Shepherd, CDFA®, Editorial Director and Co-Founder of Divorce Magazine

In the property division process, parties will be required to split retirement assets. In this video, the family lawyers of Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Sutter and Leischner PLLC outline everything a divorcing couple needs to know about dividing pensions and retirement accounts, including QDROs. More


Carolyn M. Grimes has practiced family law for over 24 years, dealing with all types of cases and issues. Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Sutter and Leischner PLLC  handles a lot of military, foreign service, and federal civilian divorces as well as high-conflict cases, involving substantial asset distribution.

Rebecca Janet Wade is an Alexandria, VA native. After graduating from the University of Richmond Law School, Ms. Wade returned to Northern Virginia, working first in the Public Defender’s office then entering private practice and focusing her attention on family law. Ms. Wade represents clients in cases of divorce, child custody and visitation and domestic violence.

Jessica L. Leischner is a partner at Wade, Grimes, Friedman, Sutter & Leischner PLLC, specializing in family law, including divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, equitable distribution, settlement agreements, property rights, post-divorce disputes, and other family law matters. Ms. Leischner has widespread experience in litigation as well as the negotiation and settlement of cases.


What you will learn from the video “Pensions, Retirement Accounts, and Divorce”

qdroThis session will discuss:

  • the difference between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan
  • what a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is, and how and when is it used
  • in cases where both spouses have their own retirement plans, do they still need to be valued and divided
  • the difference between rolling over money from a defined contribution plan to an IRA and transferring money from a defined contribution plan to an IRA during divorce
  • whether pension plans or defined contribution plans are considered marital assets
  • how defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans are divided in Virginia
  • the differences between military, foreign service, and federal civilian retirement benefits
  • what survivor benefits are
  • the most common errors to look out for when dividing retirement plans during divorce
  • what happens if a plan participant dies after the parties are divorced but before the QDRO is entered by the Court

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