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Dividing retirement plans in a divorce

On Behalf of | May 14, 2016 | Divorce

More people in Ohio are getting divorced in their golden years than ever before. The increasing rate of divorce among people over the age of 50 has created the need to divide a lot of retirement plans. Because retirement plans involve many different asset types that may be subject to fluctuations in the economy, dividing these assets can be very complicated.

There are many different kinds of retirement plans in the United States. A divorcing spouse could have a private sector retirement plan from an employer, a military pension plan, a federal government plan or a combination. Each retirement account will have its own rules for how it must be split in the event of a divorce. Fluctuations in the markets could cause retirement assets to fall and rise in value, which can pose problems if the assets are divided years after the date of a couple’s separation.

Though retirement plans are often difficult to divide in a divorce, they may be the most important assets for older couples. If a retirement plan is not divided properly, one spouse could be left with little money to live on in the future.

The date that a retirement plan is valuated can be very important in divorce negotiations because the retirement plan’s value may change before it is divided. A lawyer can be of assistance with this process by explaining the requirements for this aspect of marital property division, including the need to prepare and submit to the court a qualified domestic relations order which is necessary for these types of assets.