Divide, Buyout or Cash-out Retirement Accounts?

There are several types of retirement benefits that you or your spouse may have. The IRS provides descriptions of the different plans here. The most common plans we see are defined benefit plans (similar to pensions), profit sharing plans, 401k’s, IRA’s and other deferred compensations benefits.

Your first inquiry is determining whether all or any of the retirement asset is community property. The asset is all or partially community property to the extent employee or employer contributions were made during the marriage and before separation. The amount of the contributions during marriage plus any gains or losses since date of separation is the community portion. Community property is ordinarily divided 50/50.

Confused? Keep reading, and we’ll help you understand what portion of your retirement accounts are on table during a divorce settlement.

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