Not long before I started practicing law, the divorce laws did not allow the courts to divide a pension in a divorce. All of the other property got divided, but the spouse who had been working more and had a larger pension got to keep it all. Sometimes that result was extremely unfair.
Thankfully the law has changed. Now the Florida courts divide pensions along with the rest of the property. It is accomplished by the entry of something called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, referred to as a QDRO (pronounced "quadro").
A QDRO is merely a court order signed by a judge in a divorce court which meets the restrictions of the Internal Revenue Code which apply to division of retirement benefits. Very specific federal requirements must be followed or the transfer of a portion of the retirement from one spouse to another will result in severe tax consequences.
DIVIDING PENSIONS IN A FLORIDA DIVORCE (part two)
When done correctly, a QDRO can transfer funds from one spouse's retirement account to the other spouse's 401K or IRA free of taxes and penalties.
Bottom line: Your expert Tampa divorce lawyer can get a pension divided in a divorce by way of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order