Will divorce derail my retirement?
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Will divorce derail my retirement?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2017 | Divorce, Property Division |

As many Kentucky couples know, finances are one of the leading concerns of both spouses during a divorce. If you have concerns about your financial security after your marriage is over, you are not alone. Your financial future is an important factor to consider in any divorce agreement, but you will find it beneficial to think not only about your short-term stability, but about your long-term well-being as well.

Retirement savings accrued over the course of the marriage is marital property, and like all marital property, it is subject to division. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse could be entitled to a portion of your retirement accounts and vice versa. Most plans require that the spouse who is not a participant in the retirement plan complete a Qualified Domestic Relations Order before receiving any money.

What is going to happen to my savings?

Any time two individuals must divide money and property, it comes with the risk of disputes and contentious battles. While you may have legitimate concerns over protecting your property rights and financial interests, it may be helpful to understand how property division works. In any divorce, the two parties must account for and distribute between them the following:

  • Real estate
  • Savings accounts
  • Debt
  • Family-owned businesses

You worked hard for your savings and the money that you put aside for your future, but that does not mean that your spouse will not have a rightful claim to at least a portion of it. When it comes to retirement, your spouse may have immediate access to his or her portion of long-term savings or may gain access upon your retirement or death.

Protecting your interests

You and your spouse have the right to draft a property division plan that addresses the distribution of retirement savings and other financial issues. You may seek to keep a higher portion of your retirement in exchange for other assets or spousal support, or you can both work for another arrangement that is also beneficial. However, if both parties are unable to come to an agreement out of court, property division, including retirement savings, will be up to the court’s discretion.

The court will have the right to distribute property to the non-participating spouse by issuing a QRDO. Whether you and your spouse decide to avoid litigation or cannot come to an agreement, you will find it beneficial to secure the help of an attorney who can help you protect your interests for both, immediately after your divorce and years into the future.