Equitable division of retirement assets in divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in High Asset Divorce on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

Many Missouri couples spend years building their retirement savings and planning for their golden years. The typical couple generally assumes that they will spend these years enjoying each other’s company and perhaps even traveling to new places. However, when reality takes over and the couple realizes that there are no joint golden years to come, difficult decisions must be made. Often, these decisions include the equitable division of property in an upcoming divorce settlement.

Retirement savings accounts, IRA’s and pension plans are often where the bulk of the couple’s assets can be found. In dividing these assets, it is important to keep in mind that all accounts are not equal. The funds in some accounts are taxed in the year they are earned. In other cases, the funds are not taxes until they are withdrawn from the account. Additionally, there may be penalties if funds are withdrawn before a certain age; all of this can make a tremendous difference in the actual value of the accounts to each individual.

The way in which various retirement accounts are handled in the divorce can make a big difference in their overall value to each individual. By utilizing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, funds can be moved from one account to another without risk of taxes or penalties being incurred. Experienced legal counsel can assist in this process.

The average Missouri residents work hard to build their nest eggs and prepare for retirement. Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way and new plans must be considered. When these new plans include divorce, the equitable division of property, including this retirement nest egg, should be a priority.

Source:, “How to Protect Your Retirement Savings During Divorce“, Sarah Szczypinski, Sept. 2, 2017

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