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Divorce Considerations When Divorcing A Police Officer

If your spouse is a police officer, then there are a few things you should know.  Police officers are treated the same as everyone else.  Although, some people claim that police officers receive special treatment by the Judges, others will state that police officers are discriminated against.  The truth is neither.  Although, of course, Judges appreciate what police officers do, they do not receive any special treatment, nor are they discriminated against.  Each case is evaluated on its own facts.

In evaluating child custody, the same standard applies for police officers as it does for everyone else – the “best interests of the child”.  Many policy officers work many hours, some have overnight hours and some others have rotating shifts.  Each of those situations require an analysis of whether or not the custody schedule has to be adjusted to account for the police officer’s hours or rotating shifts.

The police officer’s pension is a defined benefit plan, which means that a specific monetary benefit is provided at retirement.  You are entitled to the portion of that benefit that was earned during the marriage.  To determine the amount of your benefit, will typically involve obtaining an analysis and valuation of the benefit.  Furthermore, for you to obtain your portion, a special Court Order (called a “Qualified Domestic Retirement Order” or “QDRO”) must be drafted and signed by the Court.

Although, you are to your marital share of the police officer’s pension benefits, if the case is settled, then you can decide to trade off the value of the pension benefit for some other benefit.  As an example, if the value of the pension benefit is $150,000.00, you could trade this by receiving $150,000.00 in some other form and then waiving the pension benefits.

If you are married to a police officer, and considering divorcing a police officer, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes has represented numerous clients where the spouse is a police officer.  David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office’s can be contacted at: 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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