Matrimonial Law

The breakup of a relationship is a difficult and emotional time. It requires making complex decisions to separate two people's lives. Individuals may feel overwhelmed trying to tackle the seemingly endless questions — How will money and property be divided? Where will my minor children live? Will I have the financial resources to support myself? The Codjovi Law Firm has answers.

The Codjovi Law Firm provides comprehensive legal representation to clients throughout the divorce or legal separation process. Our lawyers are by your side every step of the way beginning with the initial divorce filing through the negotiation process, litigation in front of both family court and Supreme Court, and the appeals process. We also help clients modify existing divorce agreements to better reflect the realities of their daily lives.

 

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

Many decisions must be made when two people divorce. Some of the most important and highly debated decisions concern how property will be divided. Divorcing couples not only divide the marital home, financial accounts, debts and other real properties, but retirement accounts may also be up for division.

Retirement accounts are considered marital property and subject to division even though retirement benefits may only have been accumulated by one spouse during the marriage. Dividing these financial instruments during a divorce has a substantial impact on each spouse's future financial health because most people rely on retirement accounts to provide for them in their old age.

One of the most complicated aspects of retirement account division is valuation. It is often difficult to ascertain the true value of a retirement account.The current, or present, value of the account as well as the future value of the account must be taken into consideration when ascertaining the value of a retirement account. The Codjovi Law firm uses financial experts, such as certified public accountants (CPAs) and actuaries, to ensure our lawyers know the full potential value of each account.

Complex federal procedures apply when dividing certain types of retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans, tax-sheltered annuities, employer defined pension plans and employee stock ownership plans. In these cases, it is necessary to obtain a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that instructs retirement account administrators to pay benefits to nonemployee ex-spouses after a divorce. Without a QDRO, even a mutually agreed upon division of certain retirement accounts will not be honored.

The Codjovi Law Firm helps clients throughout the entire property distribution process. When property settlement agreements can be reached, we follow the necessary steps to ensure QDROs are issued to ensure our clients have access to future benefits. However, when litigation is necessary, we provide clients with strong courtroom representation needed to obtain fair and equitable property division orders.