Generally, former spouses are not entitled to benefits under a qualified plan, unless provisions were made for them to receive benefits under a qualified domestic relations order. To be sure, you'll want to check with the plan administrator to determine whether you are entitled to receive benefits under the plan. If you used an attorney for your divorce, he or she may also be able to let you know whether you are entitled to any benefits.

For more insight, see Getting A Divorce? Understand The Rules Of Dividing Plan Assets.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby.

  1. How are Social Security benefits calculated for divorced spouse?

    Find out how the Social Security retirement benefit for divorced spouses is calculated, including the impact of age and outside ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    How to Protect Your Retirement After a Divorce

    Divorce is never fun, but knowing the rules and anticipating the impact of retirement plan division and pension payouts can make things easier.
  2. Retirement

    How Divorce Affects Social Security Benefits

    As an ex-spouse you may be able to claim benefits based on your ex-spouse’s earnings record. Here are the details.
  3. Retirement

    When Spouses Die, Who Gets Their Retirement Funds?

    You don't automatically get your spouse's IRA, 401(k) and other accounts when he or she dies. Here's how to plan so the right survivors get the funds.
  4. Managing Wealth

    Getting Divorced? Protect Your Pension

    If you are parting ways with your spouse, gaining an understanding of your pension benefits can help ensure your retirement isn't compromised.
  5. Financial Advisor

    The 401(k) and Qualified Plans Tutorial

    Learn about eligibility requirements, contributions and distribution rules for these retirement plans.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Understanding Rules on Defined Benefit Pension Plans

    Defined benefit plans offer advantages to both employers and employees. Employers must understand the federal tax rules when establishing these plans.
  7. Retirement

    Ten Social Security Questions Everyone Asks

    The average American doesn’t know enough about Social Security. Here are answers to 10 of the more common questions people ask about our retirement system.
  8. Retirement

    Divorcing? The Right Way to Split Retirement Plans

    Mishandling how you define and allocate retirement-plan assets in a divorce can cost you plenty in taxes and aggravation. Here's how to do it right.
  9. Financial Advisor

    How Married Couples Can Maximize Social Security

    Making the most of Social Security can be a complicated thing for married couples, but finding the maximum return is worth the laborious process.
  10. Retirement

    The Gay Couple's Guide to Social Security Benefits

    The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on marriage equality affords same-sex couples access to Social Security benefits. Here's how it works.
  1. Entitlement Offer

    An offer to purchase a security or other asset that cannot be ...
  2. Unconditional Vesting

    Pension benefits that are entitled to the employee without any ...
  3. Target-Benefit Plan

    A benefit plan that is similar to a defined benefit plan since ...
  4. Qualified Retirement Plan

    A plan that meets requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and ...
  5. Active Participant Status

    Active-participant status is a reference to an individual's participation ...
  6. Qualified Domestic Relations Order - QDRO

    A type of court order typically found in a divorce agreement ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Subprime Auto Loan

    A type of auto loan approved for people with substandard credit scores or limited credit histories. There is no official ...
  2. Racketeering

    A fraudulent service built to serve a problem that wouldn't otherwise exist without the influence of the enterprise offering ...
  3. Federal Debt

    The total amount of money that the United States federal government owes to creditors. The government's creditors include ...
  4. Passive Management

    A style of management associated with mutual and exchange-traded funds (ETF) where a fund's portfolio mirrors a market index. ...
  5. Series 7

    A general securities registered representative license administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ...
  6. Compound Interest

    Compound Interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods ...
Trading Center