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Can Retirement Benefits be Divided in a Divorce?

retirement benefitsHow Are Retirement Benefits Split during a Divorce?

One of the most valuable assets that married couples have is the retirement fund. California is a community property state, so retirement benefits must be divided during a divorce. If one spouse has a 401(k) or other pension plan, the nonparticipating spouse is entitled to half the amount of money that was accruing during the marriage. This is also the case with retirement plans one spouse receives from an employer.

An Example

One spouse worked during the marriage. The spouse worked a total of 1,200 months but only worked 800 months during the marriage. Since 800 months is two-thirds of 1,200 months, the nonparticipating spouse is entitled to receive half of the amount earned for 800 months.

The spouses may come to an agreement that states that the nonparticipating spouse will receive his or her half of the retirement benefits when the other spouse retires and begins receiving payments. Another plan may be to allow one spouse to have the entire retirement plan while the other spouse receives other community property.

Torrance divorce attorneys can offer you more information on how your retirement benefits would need to be divided during your divorce. One option is better for you than another, but your Torrance divorce attorney will advise you as to the option that is in your best interests. Dividing assets can be very technical and complex, but Torrance divorce lawyers know all of the rules and regulations in California’s system, so they will make sure that you receive what is fair.

When a couple is divorcing, it’s very important that both parties plan for a stable future, and a Torrance divorce lawyer can make sure that happens for you. At Stearns Kim & Stearns & Ryan, we will represent you whether your case is contested or uncontested, so we will be with you even if your case gets a little difficult. Call us today.