Retirement plans can be a divorce complication
There are so many different types of retirement accounts available. One thing that is often overlooked when people decide to get divorced is how, exactly, to split retirement accounts. California is a community property state. This means that all assets acquired during the course of the marriage are considered joint property and have to be divided equitably.
The tricky part with retirement accounts is that not all of the accounts may be marital property. If one or both parties worked before they were married, then their savings from before the marriage will be considered “separate” property. This can become further complicated if the retirement account is an investment or brokerage account containing assets that have gained or lost value.
In many cases, your Westlake Village property division attorney will use a skilled accountant and other financial experts to ensure the retirement accounts are properly divided. These experts will take into account various factors when deciding how the accounts should be divided, including whether withdraws can legally be made without massive tax penalties, the future value of the plans, whether the working spouse continues to work and not take withdraws, and more.
For these cases, the court will allow a non-pro rata division of the property. This means that they will allow the spouse with the retirement account to compensate the other spouse for their portion of the community property portion of their money in the account. They can use other portions of their assets to make this buyout. For example, they could essentially trade their spouse their portion of the marital home in return for keeping their retirement account intact.
A spouse cannot avoid paying their portion of a retirement account by deciding not to retire. The death of a spouse does not mean the other spouse has no rights to the money. They do, and they can file a claim with their spouse’s estate to retrieve their portion.
We are ready to help you get through this
Divorce is incredibly complicated, especially when it comes to dividing marital assets. One thing that many people do not consider is how they will divide retirement accounts. This can be a complex process, and you will need help from a skilled Westlake Village division of retirement plan orders attorney. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, we are going to get you through this process as smoothly as possible. You deserve to be treated fairly, so please contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.