Retirement Assets

Dallas Divorce Attorney for Division of Retirement Accounts and Pensions

When a couple chooses to end their marriage, they will need to make decisions about multiple issues that will affect their finances, the property they own, and each spouse’s ability to support themselves going forward. In many cases, spouses will be focused on how the decisions they make will affect their lives in the immediate aftermath of divorce, and they will be looking to divide marital property in a way that will allow for continuing financial success. However, it is also important to look toward the future and ensure that a person will have the necessary financial resources later in life. In many cases, retirement assets are crucial for maintaining long-term financial security, and spouses will need to make sure these assets are addressed properly during their divorce.

Dallas Retirement Assets Attorney

experienced and dedicated legal help during divorce

At Clark Law Group, we work to make sure our clients are fully prepared to address divorce-related issues. We provide divorcing spouses with guidance on how the decisions they make will affect their finances both immediately and in the future. By providing our clients with a full understanding of the long-term impact of their decisions, we can help them avoid any unexpected financial issues. Whether you are looking to gain a full understanding of the value of your marital assets or need to negotiate a settlement that will address your current and future needs, we can provide you with experienced and dedicated legal help during your divorce.

Addressing Ownership of Pensions and Retirement Accounts

Retirement assets can make up a significant portion of a couple’s marital estate. These assets will generally be considered marital property if pension benefits were earned during a couple’s marriage or if contributions were made to retirement accounts while a couple was married. During the property division process, the full value of these assets will need to be determined. In some cases, a spouse may retain ownership of certain retirement assets while the other spouse receives property of an equivalent value, or pension benefits or funds in retirement accounts may be divided between the spouses.

Some of the funds in a retirement account that is in one spouse’s name may be withdrawn and transferred to the other spouse. However, failure to follow the correct procedures when doing so may result in penalties for early withdrawal, and taxes may also apply to the amounts that are withdrawn. For employer-sponsored retirement accounts such as 401Ks, penalties and taxes can be avoided through the use of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). This type of order will provide instructions to the plan’s administrator allowing for funds to be withdrawn from an account and rolled over into an account owned by the other spouse. For individual retirement accounts (IRAs), a plan administrator may be provided with a copy of the couple’s divorce decree that details how the funds in an account should be divided, and this will allow for withdrawals without penalties or taxes.

Pension benefits that a person earned while married may be somewhat more difficult to address during the divorce process, since the actual value of these benefits usually will not be known until a person retires. A person’s ex-spouse will generally be entitled to receive a percentage of the benefits that will be paid after the person retires. This percentage will usually be determined by calculating the amount of time that the person earned pension benefits while the couple was married and dividing this amount by the total amount of time that they worked in a pension-eligible position. For example, if a person was married for 20 years out of a total of 40 years that they worked, 50 percent of their pension benefits will be considered marital property, and their ex-spouse may receive half of that amount, or 25 percent of their total pension benefits. When allocating pension benefits, a QDRO can be used to specify the percentage of benefits that will be paid to a person’s ex-spouse.

Contact Our Dallas Retirement Account Division Attorneys

During your divorce, you can address your future financial needs by making sure you will be able to retain ownership of certain retirement assets. Our lawyers can help you gain a full understanding of the value of your marital property, and we will help you negotiate a settlement that will provide for your needs both immediately after your divorce and once you reach retirement age. Contact us by calling 469-906-2266 to set up your confidential consultation. We help divorcing spouses address issues related to property division in Farmers Branch, Dallas County, Valley Ranch, Dallas, Carrollton, Denton County, Coppell, University Park, Irving, Collin County, Garland, Highland Park, Lake Highland, Fort Worth, Mesquite, Park Cities, Lakewood, McKinney, Grand Prairie, Preston Hollow, North Dallas, and Plano.

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