Oh! You originally spoke about a QDRO, so my earlier information was based on the assumption that what you were awarded in the divorce judgment from Husband # XXXXX was a defined benefit pension plan or a defined contribution retirement plan. Now you tell me that it was an IRA account.
What needs to be understood is that the division of an IRA account incident to dissolution of marriage does not involve the use of a QDRO. QDROs are needed to implement a divorce court
's division and award of an employer-sponsored plan. An IRA is an individual plan that does not involving an employer, and it thus not subject to the ERISA laws.
Division of an IRA incident to divorce generally does not require a QDRO. The language of the divorce judgment itself is generally all that is needed. (Although some IRA custodians nonetheless insist
on receiving a separate court order that they erroneously refer to as a QDRO even though that is not what it would be.) CLICK HERE for more information about division of an IRA incident to dissolution of marriage.
What your financial advisor told you about your not being able to be a joint owner of an IRA is true. By its very title, an IRA is an INDIVIDUAL Retirement Account. The individual IRA account owner has the right to designate anybody the IRA account owner wants as the beneficiary to received the remaining IRA balance upon death of the IRA account owner. However, in the event of a divorce, the divorce court may order that the IRA account be divided between the divorcing spouses and that all or a portion of the owner's IRA be transferred to the other spouse. Such a transfer would be a tax-free transfer under 26 USC § 408.
And, of course, I have no idea of what you are talking about when you say "They had me sign a "notarized document" to that effect." WHO is "they"? A notarized document saying that you cannot be a joint owner of an IRA account?? That does not make any sense. As a matter of law, IRA accounts cannot be jointly owner. A "notarized document to that effect" would be wholly meaningless. Trying to make heads or tales out of this via the description you are providing is akin to a doctor trying to evaluate an X-ray based on the patient giving the doctor a description of the X-ray without the doctor being able to directly see the x-ray first hand.
And whatever it was that you signed with notarized signature, did it pertain to the anticipated rollover of current husband's pension or retirement plan when he retires 4 weeks from now? Or did pertain to the IRA account into which the pension/retirement plan money is supposed to be transferred?
Also, as to money in husband's IRA account in the event of a divorce -- If the money in husband's IRA was derived from a pension or retirement interest that he had before his marriage to you, and a divorce were to now occur, only the portion of the funds in the IRA than are attributable to post-marriage acquisition of the retirement account from which the IRA money cam would be subject to division incident to divorce. In other words, money that he can establish as "pre-marital" would be excluded from being treated as an asset acquired during his marriage to you.
So if he acquired a retirement plan interest over a period of 20 years, but you were married to him for only the last 10 of those 20 years, you would share in only the portion of the retirement benefit attributable to the last 10 years, since the portion of the retirement benefit entitlement acquired during the first 10 years would be considered as premarital property (thus belonging entirely to him). And if he then rolled over the retirement interest into an IRA when he retired (doing so with your written permissioh if he did it while married to you), and he and you later divorced, you would not have a valid claim to the portion of the IRA account that is attributable to his retirement money that was acquired prior to his getting married to you..
So, in sum, yes, you would be entitled to only 10 years worth of his IRA accumulated during the marriage.
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