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How are retirement accounts divided in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2021 | Family Law

When you enter into divorce proceedings in the state of Texas, there are many things that you’ll have to go over. Assessing your marital assets and deciding who gets what is just one of them. When it comes to your retirement accounts, you might be unsure how these types of accounts are actually handled during the divorce process.

The bottom line

During a divorce, retirement accounts are typically treated as marital property. This means that they are indeed an asset that must be divided up appropriately between you and your former spouse. However, it’s not as easy as just splitting the funds down the middle. The court will start by looking at various factors surrounding each retirement account to determine its value and how to split it equitably.

Factors that are considered

When a judge takes your retirement account into consideration as a marital asset, they have a few things that they’ll need to assess. First, they need to know when your retirement account was started and how that start date relates to the day you got married. They’ll also assess the type of retirement account it is, like a pension, IRA or 401(k). The judge will use this information to obtain a value of the retirement account and determine how it will be split according to state laws.

If you don’t want to worry about splitting up your retirement account, you do have options. You may opt for providing your spouse with a portion of another marital asset with a similar value in exchange for keeping your entire retirement account. The acceptance of this agreement will depend on your former spouse and the judge.

Going through a divorce comes along with many questions. How your retirement account is divided up is just one of many. If you’re having trouble understanding how certain assets will be handled during your divorce, then you should consider hiring an experienced attorney to assist with your case.