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What to know about retirement after a divorce

| Apr 24, 2019 | Divorce |

Divorce can have a significant impact on Virginia couples For instance, it may be necessary to divide property, decide who gets the kids and determine if either side gets alimony. When going through the process of creating a divorce settlement, it is important for each side to determine how it could impact their retirement. If an individual has an IRA, 401(k) or a pension, it might be divided in a settlement.

This could be true even if the account was only in one person’s name. In the event that a 401(k) or other qualified plan is to be split in a divorce decree, it will need to be divided through a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Ideally, the QDRO will be crafted by someone who has experience dealing with the nuances that may come with it.

In some cases, it may be possible to keep a retirement account and provide a former spouse with other assets instead. After a divorce, people may be able to claim Social Security benefits based on the work record of their former spouse. This is true if the marriage lasted for at least 10 years and the other spouse worked during that time. However, they may choose to claim their own benefit instead if it results in larger payments.

Almost any item deemed to be marital property may be divided during the divorce. The property division process may be expedited by the presence of a prenuptial or post-marital agreement. The use of a mediator may also make it easier to come to an agreement on how items such as an IRA or bank account may be split up.