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Dividing retirement accounts: A high-asset debate in divorce

When you get a divorce, one of the things you may not be thinking about is how your retirement accounts will be split. Many people have retirement accounts, 401(k) accounts, and others through their workplace, but these accounts won't necessarily be considered as separate property. This is an asset that may be divided in divorce, and it's one worth fighting for.

Dividing retirement funds is complicated, because not all of the funds will necessarily be marital property. For example, if your husband earned a retirement fund before your marriage and added to it during the marriage, the funds added during marriage may be able to be divided. However, funds added beforehand may not.

The idea of these funds are usually to grow them together, so you and your spouse can both have a secure retirement, which is why it's so important to make your claim for what you deserve. How can you divide retirement accounts, though, when you're not old enough to claim them? It's possible to get the account administrator to pay out each spouse a percentage of the account when it's ready to be paid out. It's also possible to receive a pay off that is in the value of the account from your spouse, which would mean you'd get money up front while they would keep their retirement account in full.

Whatever you decide to do, your divorce settlement needs to be clear. This can be a large amount of money, and it's likely one of the most costly investments you have. You need to be sure you get your fair share. Our website has more information on how to proceed.

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