Will Divorce Affect My Retirement Benefits?


During the process of a divorce, it is necessary to divide all of a couple’s assets and liabilities. Some often overlooked assets are retirement benefits. You may have spent many years saving up for your retirement, but it is possible that you will need to divide your savings and other retirement benefits with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Below are some of the ways divorce may affect your retirement benefits.

Community Property & Retirement Benefits

Nevada is a community property state, which means that any property acquired during the marriage and while living in Nevada or another community property state is subject to division. This includes retirement benefits. It is possible that a portion of your pension, 401(k) plan, or other retirement accounts are not considered community property, and cannot be divided.

Because property division is complex, it is important to speak with a qualified divorce attorney. Often, retirement benefits are one of the primary assets of a marriage, so it is crucial to ensure that you receive your fair share. Retirement benefits can also be rather difficult to divide, as there are several laws that dictate specific provisions to allow division. Additionally, military divorces may face far different regulations regarding the division of military retirement benefits.

Dividing Retirement Benefits

Unlike other assets such as savings accounts or real estate, retirement accounts can require significant planning to divide them properly. Most retirement plans require the owning party to retire in order to access them, or there will be hefty taxes to withdraw the money early. A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is required to divide retirement accounts. A QDRO designates one spouse as an alternative payee, and allows them to receive a part of the pension or benefits.

Considerations for Dividing Retirement:

  • Usually, a percentage is used to determine the amount of retirement benefits paid to the plan during the marriage. This amount will be used to determine the appropriate division.
  • Some couples choose to award one spouse more property or greater alimony payments to avoid dividing retirement benefits, which may be easier for both parties.
  • QDROs can be used to recover unpaid child support and alimony payments
  • Preparing a QDRO can be difficult, so it is recommended that you hire professional help and split the costs, or determine who will pay in advance.

Get Help from Our Henderson Divorce Attorneys – (702) 904-9898

Dividing your marriage’s assets can be a struggle, but our highly experienced team at Ford & Friedman can help you through the process. Our Henderson divorce lawyers are dedicated to providing tailored legal advice to meet your specific circumstances. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can assist you.

Contact our firm online, or dial (702) 904-9898 to speak to a member of our team.

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