Marital assets – property earned while you are married – will
be divided during a
divorce. This is generally considered common knowledge, and most people imagine
dividing ownership over homes, automobiles, furnishings, and so on. What
does not cross too many peoples’ minds is how a divorce can divide
pension accounts between spouses.
Your first reaction might be one of disbelief. After all, your pension
– whether it be related to a retirement fund, 401(k), retirement
savings, or otherwise – has been rewarded to you for your personal
hard work throughout the years. Right? Believe it or not, all states consider
a pension as marital property.
Can I Protect My Pension?
Unlike some assets in a divorce, pensions are not automatically split up.
The spouse who has not directly earned the pension needs to actually ask
for a share of it during divorce proceedings. Additionally, they will
need to request a share for each pension that exists – one request
does not cover them all, and each share may be different from the next.
To protect your pension, you will need to create a persuasive argument
as to why your ex should not get much, or any, of it.
Help for the Other Side
It is entirely possible that you do not have any pension savings but your
ex-spouse does. In this situation, you should consider getting a fair
share of the pension to ensure you are comfortable after the divorce finalizes.
You will need to get as much information as possible from your spouse
in regards to the pension – you are technically still a beneficiary
and are entitled to that information. Furthermore, you need to contact
the administrator of the pension plan as soon as possible and let them
know that a divorce is in the works. This should prevent your spouse from
emptying their pension plan in anticipation of the split and keeping it
Whether you need to protect your pension or fight for your share, the Indianapolis
divorce attorneys from Hollingsworth & Zivitz can help you. Since
2004, we have been standing up for the rights of our clients in all matters of
family law issues. Whatever troubles might be headed your way, related to pensions
or not, we know we can look for the right solution for you – it
all begins when you
request a consultation by calling