Police and Fire
(Public Sector) Divorce
In a (Public Sector) Police and Fire Divorce, Firefighters and Police Officers have unique benefit and pension plans that must be considered carefully. Typically these benefits have to be dealt with in a special manner due to factors that can complicate the division of assets and benefits. Some of these factors may be the agency you work for or if the pension system you are vested in recognizes a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or some other variant. Another consideration is if you also are subject to the terms of a contract. These concerns and others need to be factored in when a public sector employee is going through a divorce.
We have the experience and knowledge with all of these situations. Our Firm can help navigate through the common obstacles encountered with
a (Public Sector) Police and Fire Divorce. For public sector workers with many years on the job benefits the division of assets is a critical concern. Items such as pensions, deferred compensation accounts, health insurance, accrued vacation and other compensation are all considered in equitable distribution. This is especially true when employment benefits and retirement accounts may be the only valuable asset left. Some of the specific examples are:
- Chapter 121 Pension Plan marital portion division
- Chapter 175 Pension Plan marital portion division
- Deferred Compensation 457(b) marital portion division
- Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) asset division
- Working conditions and terms governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Mandatory vs. Voluntary overtime income imputation
Most cases are resolved out of court even in complex divorces and the parties do not have to go to trial. Trial can be costly, both financially and emotionally, and can be avoided through mediation or conciliatory meetings between the spouses. These processes let you stay in control of the future and the ultimate outcome of the divorce. The alternative, going to trial, places the final decision with the Judge who has little intimate knowledge of your issues and cannot personalize those issues as you or your attorney can. While going to trial is not ideal it is sometimes necessary when the two parties are unwilling to yield to the other. However, it is imperative that your attorney be ready and willing to advocate and litigate if negotiations break down and know when to barter and when to fight.