Divorce and Your Pension

Posted By Hollingsworth & Zivitz, Attorneys at Law || 19-Oct-2015

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 for themselves.

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 317.DIVORCE today.

Categories: Divorce, Property Division

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