Divorce

Divorce can play a significant role in your retirement.  Upon a divorce or divorce filing, it is essential that all active, deferred and retired members notify FCERA as soon as possible. Pursuant to the laws of California, if you are a member of FCERA while you are married, your retirement benefits are considered community property and your spouse may be entitled to an interest in the community property portion of your retirement benefit.

Notify FCERA: When a legal separation or divorce dissolution has been filed and the former spouse is asserting a claim for a community property interest in your retirement benefit, the member and/or the other parties involved is advised to notify FCERA in writing of the proceedings. However, if you are already retired and earning a monthly benefit, your former spouse has the option to file a Notice of Adverse Interest to protect his or her interest in the undecided community property portion of your FCERA benefit. If no claim is asserted, Judgment should reflect “sole and separate property”.

It is best if the judgment specifically mentions FCERA and clearly states that you are either entitled to 100 percent of your retirement benefit or that your former spouse is entitled to an interest in the community property portion of your FCERA retirement benefit.

File a Joinder: If the court awards an interest in the community property portion of your retirement benefit to your former spouse, you will be required to “join” FCERA as a third party to your divorce proceedings.

Inform FCERA of All Divorces and Any Other Orders: Each divorce case is different. For any additional questions, please contact us.

FCERA staff cannot provide legal advice regarding your divorce.  Therefore, it is advised that you seek competent legal advice if you have any further questions or concerns regarding the division, if any, of your FCERA retirement benefit.