Federal employees facing a divorce have unique problems regarding their pensions and annuities. The Law Office of Michael Golburgh specializes in these complex family law cases.
Unlike private pension plans, the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) are born totally from federal laws and regulations. In a divorce, the division of a FERS or CSRS benefit is done by specific language in a court order, not by a qualified domestic relations order. There are very strict and specific deadlines that must be met by anyone wanting to receive a portion of the employee's annuity. In addition, there are certain ancillary benefits a divorced spouse could receive only if the court order specifically addresses these benefits.
The administration of FERS and CSRS is handled by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). A court order acceptable for processing is required by OPM before it will do anything with a federal employee's retirement annuity. The court order can divide the retirement annuity by a specific dollar amount or by a specific percentage, up to 100% of the retiree's net annuity. The language in the order must give clear instructions to OPM about how it is to divide the employee's retirement benefit and how the former spouse's share is to be determined. These cases are complex and require an attorney with specific knowledge of federal benefits.
We invite you to contact The Law Office of Michael Golburgh to learn more about our federal employee services, or to schedule a consultation with an attorney.