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Protecting Retirement and Pensions During a Divorce

By October 19, 2020April 22nd, 2021No Comments

Whether you’re a young couple just starting your lives together or well past your silver anniversary, the hard work you’ve put into saving for your retirement and/or towards your pension remains the same. 

Unfortunately, divorce happens across every age segment and the last thing you want is to not have some of your most cherished financial assets protected. If they’re not, they could be up for grabs during a divorce proceeding and you may find yourself splitting all that hard work in half. With some preparation and general understanding, you can keep your retirement and pension for yourself once the split is made official.

What to Know About Pensions and Divorces

In most states, any pension that was earned while you and your spouse were married is considered marital property and subject to potential division in a divorce. Most pensions have some kind of survivor benefit and the ex-nonworking spouse may choose to retain this benefit. In other cases, that benefit may be waived, retained or transferred and the monthly benefit from the pension will be split between both parties. If either spouse is or was a uniformed government employee, there are additional considerations to account for as government pensions have other rules. 

Retirement Payouts and Divorces

If you’ve accrued retirement savings before entering the marriage, most states consider that premarital property and not subject to division during a divorce. If a spouse is covered by a defined contribution plan (like a 401(k)) or a defined benefit plan (like a traditional pension), the timing of payment depends on the plan. Some make a lump sum payout immediately and others make payments over time. Considering whether or not you may have to tap into this money before your own retirement will make a difference in how you and your attorney come to the negotiating table as well. 


You should have the right representation on your side to protect your hard-earned retirement savings and the team at Garretson & Holcomb is here to help. Call us today at (513) 863-6600 to learn how we’ve helped clients through Butler and Warren Counties protect what’s theirs.

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