Understanding Retirement Plans In A Divorce


In divorce matters, under Florida law, pension and retirement plans are considered marital assets. Therefore, it is necessary for the spouses to determine the value of the plan and/or divide the plan by a specific court order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).

Additionally, pension and retirement plans may have a nonmarital value if the plan pre-existed the marriage. The nonmarital value should be determined as well.

Once the value of the plan is determined, the spouse who has contributed to the plan (“participant spouse”) can decide if he/she wishes to keep all of the plan benefits in exchange for other marital assets.

A QDRO is a court order instructing a plan administrator to provide a portion of the plan to the non-participant spouse. The plan administrator must approve the order to make sure it doesn’t violate the terms and conditions of the plan.

A QDRO is necessary if the participant spouse can’t trade off other marital assets or the spouses can’t agree on the plan’s value. Some plans (i.e. military and government pension plans), however, do not accept QDRO’s.


WHEN CHILDREN GO MISSING


The statistics on missing children in this country are staggering. That is why every parent should know what to do if their child goes missing. You should know how to prepare for this situation before it happens.

Gather Your Child’s Information Now

Take the time now to complete the Missing Child Information Sheet (which is attached). It takes just a few minutes, and you will be prepared in case your child goes missing. You can also use the top portion of the Missing Child Information Sheet as a poster/flyer for public distribution.

Use a quality color photograph. This is the most important tool for recovering your child. Update the photograph every 6 months for children six and under and annually for older children.
Have additional photographs saved on a CD or flash drive so the police can download them immediately into a database.
Properly taken fingerprints may also be an important tool to recover your child. Local police departments usually print children as a public service. Store the fingerprints with the Missing Child Information Sheet.
Know where your child’s medical and dental records are kept. If you relocate, obtain copies and take them with you.
Keep a list of phone numbers for any home your child may visit.

If Your Child Goes Missing

The first two hours after a child goes missing are critical. Do not delay; Immediately contact the police!

Immediately report your child missing to the police. Provide them with your Missing Child Information Sheet. Also request investigators to enter your child into the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) missing persons file.
Ask police to issue a “Be On The Lookout” bulletin (BOLO) and ask about the AMBER Alert Plan.
Limit traffic in your home until police collect possible evidence. You should recheck your bedrooms, closets, and yard; however, don’t remove or touch any items prior to the police.
Write a description of your child’s clothing and personal items he had when last seen.
Make a list of friends, relatives, and neighbors who might have information or clues. Contact all of them.

More Resources Available

For more information, you can contact The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-THE-LOST) or visit www.ncmec.org.