The process of divorce can be emotionally challenging, especially when it comes to dividing retirement funds.
If you find yourself facing an uncontested divorce in Hawaii, it is important to gain a clear understanding of how retirement fund division operates in such cases.
Hawaii Marital Property Law
In Hawaii, the courts generally consider assets acquired during the marriage to be marital property subject to division between the spouses. That often includes retirement funds accumulated during the marriage. This includes employer-sponsored retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts funded with marital income.
While retirement funds are generally considered marital property, there can be exceptions. If you or your spouse had retirement accounts before the marriage, the portion of those funds you can trace back to before the marriage is often separate property and may not be subject to division.
Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
To divide retirement funds in an uncontested divorce in Hawaii, you will likely need to get a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO is a legal order that directs the retirement plan administrator to divide the funds according to the divorce agreement. Before proceeding with retirement fund division in an uncontested divorce, there are a few critical points to consider, including tax implications and early withdrawal penalties.
Even when a divorce is amicable and uncontested, it is important to have legal counsel you can rely on. In the event that a dispute over marital property does arise, the importance of effective legal representation cannot be overstated.