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(The above are PDF Documents - Get Acrobat PDF Reader here)

Federal CSRS & FERS: Valuation & Court Order Division of Federal Retirement benefits in Divorce

Military: Valuation & Court Order Division of Military Retired Pay in Divorce

QDRO Preparation & Strategies in Divorce

Pension Valuation & Retirement Plan Valuation Issues in Divorce

Courses contain comprehensive discussions on valuation issues encountered in divorce and/or dividing a pension pursuant to a court's/attorney's decision to divide a retirement plan by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or similar Court Order Acceptable for Processing (COAP).

These programs are pending certification by the ABA, AICPA & CFP Board.


Detailed discussion with exhibits downloaded in PDF format. Throughout the module certain self-test questions will be asked to help provide a better understanding of the material. The self-test questions are not graded. General Planning Notes are provided to ensure that knowledge gained from each module can be, and perhaps ought to be, used in practice. Strategic Planning Notes apply to certain strategies that may apply in divorce. The intent is not to encourage awarding unjust amounts or benefits, rather strategies are discussed as a precautionary measure against such tactics the attorney or financial professional may encounter.There is a final exam required to be passed comprised of 50 multiple choice questions. A grade of 70% or above may qualify for continuing education credits for your profession.


MODULE 1: Federal Pensions in Divorce - Understanding federal retirement plans (CSRS & FERS) is essential in a divorce since these pension plans, and their derivatives, Judicial retirement plans, Foreign Service Retirement System etc, are distinctly different than private sector pensions. This is not only true in valuing a federal pension as an offset against other marital property but dividing the pension where each party shares in the pension payments. Issues such as determining what is defined as marital and what is non-marital, and the monetary effects of several ssues are examined. Sample paragraphs for court order division of such benefits, and how certain verbiage is interpreted by Office of Personnel Management (OPM) who administers the federal pensions is provided.

MODULE 2: Military Retired/Retainer Pay in Divorce - Like federal pensions, retirement benefits paid by the military differ significantly from retirement benefits in the private sector. The military, like the federal retirement systems, are exempt from ERISA and therefore different rules apply in the context of divorce. This module examines the difference between Reservist and Full-Time Active Military retired pay, how retired pay is calculated, how various marital values are derived, what is divisible by court order, and the eligibility requirements for a former spouse to receive benefits are also explored.

MODULE 3: Effective use of QDRO's to Divide Retirement Plans - QDROs are used for dividing retirement plans as marital property, obtaining child support & child support arrearages, as well as alimony. QDROs can be used to secure certain debt obligations as well, an issue not often addressed in other QDRO material. Methods of dividing defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans are discussed and how each vary from state-to-state. Tax treatment and distribution options are also discussed along with sample language that can be beneficial to an alternate payee spouse or plan participant. A primary goal of this module is to provide the attorney, CPA for financial professional with enough information to achieve an equitable distribution of this asset.

MODULE 4: Pension Valuations and Retirement Plan IssuesValuation Issues in Divorce - Valuation of a future cash flow stream (e.g. pension) is essential when the desire of one party is to retain all of the pension rights, in exchange for giving up other marital assets. The same applies in some circumstances where it is more practical for a former spouse to give up their right to a share of the pension in order to avoid the risk of never realizing their share. Here, valuation methods are discussed and strategies for both the pension holder and for the former non-plan participant spouse. Strategies as to how interest rates affect the value, whether to value supplemental pension benefits, and determining which of the approaches are best used to estimate a marital portion.

Courses developed by the following:

Tim Voit, author of Retirement Plan Benefits & QDROs in Divorce, a CCH publication. Tim Voit is a Financial Analyst and President of Voit Econometrics with a concentration in Pension, 401(k)'s, and Securities litigation. Tim is also a Court admitted expert on the drafting of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO's), often called upon in legal malpractice cases to "fix" QDRO's and/or to compute/minimize damages for the carrier. Tim has had numerous articles published on the topics of valuing pensions and QDRO's in several different states.

Todd Voit, PhD, is an Economist/Portfolio Manager and President of Voit & Hamilton , LLC. Todd Voit achieved a Top 20 Ranking according to the Nelson's database of money managers and also teaches investments at the graduate level at the University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee. Todd has one of the only Masters' Thesis we know of in the country on the topic of Valuing Pensions and Drafting QDRO's.

Program Cost: $45 (2, Credit Program) $100 (3 Credits)
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