Teacher retirement benefits require special handling

| Jan 20, 2016 | Property Division |

When you go through a divorce, the division of assets is not always fully within your control. While some aspects of property division are relatively straightforward, others can be murkier. Real estate, such as a family home, could be sold and the proceeds divided. However, in the case of teacher pensions in Georgia, the answer might not be so clear-cut.

One example of this is how teacher pension plans are often handled in Georgia. This can represent a career’s worth of retirement assets for people who have worked as educators. In many cases, these are not divisible by law. It is often wise to rely on the assistance of an experienced property division attorney to help ensure that these assets are divided properly.

In practice, this boils down to the state of Georgia not having the time or resources to handle this activity on behalf of the account holders. However, there are ways around this inconvenience. These include:

  • Offsetting teacher retirement income with other assets from the marriage. This would mean that the teacher herself or himself receives the benefits, and the other spouse receives other assets of similar or equal value in their place.
  • Setting up an agreement whereby the spouse receiving benefits in the form of a monthly check, for example, then gives the other spouse half of the proceeds directly.

Whatever form your arrangement takes, it is best to consult with an attorney who has handled teacher pension cases and understands the importance of a properly executed property division plan.

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