How are assets divided when filing for legal separation?

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

Can my spouse receive half of my 401k via a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) when filing for legal separation, not divorce?


In the state I am licensed in (Missouri), legal separation and dissolution matters are handled similarly.

A person may choose to file for a legal separation for religious reasons. However, the end result is the same as a final divorce.

During proceedings for legal separation, the judge will determine what assets are marital and divide those assets.

In Missouri, if the judge divided a 401(k) plan by QDRO in the final judgment of legal separation, then the parties will each be entitled to immediately receive their marital share of that plan once the QDRO documents are prepared.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights, I urge you to contact an a family law attorney immediately.

Cordell & Cordell has well qualified and experienced men’s divorce lawyers nationwide if you require additional legal assistance.


Michelle Hughes is an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hughes is licensed in the states of Missouri and Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. A native to metro St. Louis, Ms. Hughes received her BBA in Economics and Finances from McKendree College. She later received her Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School where she graduated cum laude.

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