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The Real Cost of a Divorce

By Carla Fried - 2013-11-25T13:43:42Z

Photograph by Richard Finch/Getty Images

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Carve Up Retirement Plans

In a divorce, couples need to show the court that they've reached a formal agreement on how to divide defined contribution accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and traditional pensions. The required document is called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Each individual retirement plan in play requires its own QDRO. Lawyers typically farm this out to specialists. The cost can be $300 to $500 for each document, which can add up if one or both parties have been job-hoppers with a lot of old accounts left behind. Ask about a volume discount if you need multiple docs.

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