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Retirement Funds and Divorce

Thu, May 17, 2018 at 11:05AM

Coming to the difficult decision to divorce is certainly not the ideal situation for most people. Emotional and other factors inevitably come into play. In addition, there are many complex (and sometimes confusing) financial aspects involved.Coming to the difficult decision to divorce is certainly not the ideal situation for most people. Emotional and other factors inevitably come into play. In addition, there are many complex (and sometimes confusing) financial aspects involved.

Still, it’s essential to have a strong grasp of how monies will be divided to avoid unpleasant or unexpected situations down the line. For instance, retirement savings are typically the largest assets held by a divorcing couple. The collected funds have a direct impact on the future financial health of all parties involved. That’s why it’s essential to know you’ll be protected. 

Here’s what you need to know about retirements funds and divorce:

Ex-Spouses Can Claim Retirement Savings  
In Florida, most retirement plans paid into during a marriage are considered shared property. In the case of accounts started prior to marriage, divorcing spouses are typically entitled to a percentage of the total monies. 

Florida is an “equitable distribution state,” which simply means the court must make a fair distribution of all marital property and assets. It’s important to realize, however, that fair in this regard (sometimes called ‘just’) does not always mean a 50/50 split. Instead, only those monies that were earned/accrued during the marriage are eligible for distribution. 

A skilled Daytona Beach divorce attorney can provide all details and answer your specific questions about this sometimes-complicated process. At this time, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) will also be prepared.  

Different Plans Have Different Division Options 
Just as not all retirement plans are the same, the division of funds during divorce proceedings is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Instead, the type of account(s) you hold will determine next steps in the process. 

For instance, traditional retirement accounts (401 (k), IRA, Roth IRA, annuities) are typically opened and funded by one individual. These accounts are often started as a perk of employment. Despite this, and as earlier mentioned, monies amassed in these accounts during the marriage may be eligible for distribution during the divorce. 

Other accounts (such as government pensions and military benefits) are not as straight-forward. It’s important to speak with a Daytona Beach divorce lawyer to ensure you’ll be financially-protected after the divorce.  

Beneficiary Designations Must Be Addressed 
While it’s always a good idea to keep beneficiary and other will information up to date, the matter is even more essential in the case of divorce. Discussing the process with a divorce attorney in Daytona Beach ensures there will be no surprises for your loved ones down the road. 

Some individuals plan to get re-married or experience other life changes (birth of a child, adoption) following the divorce, which can further complicate plans. 

Assistance is Available 
Divorce is an emotional and stressful experience. That’s why it’s important to work with qualified professionals who not only understand the process but also have your best interests at heart. 

Since 1983, we’ve helped countless Central Florida families with their legal needs. From divorce and family law to wills and probate, real estate, criminal defense, and more, our friendly and knowledgeable attorneys look forward to learning how we can assist in your legal matter. 

Call us today or visit one of our three locations to get started. 

Posted on May 17, 2018


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