Can My Spouse Take My Retirement in a Divorce?

older couple fighting

If you and your spouse are undergoing a divorce when you are both over the age of 50, otherwise known as gray divorce, you may be most concerned about how your retirement assets will be divided up. Continue reading to learn whether your spouse can take your retirement in your divorce and how one of the experienced Hudson County property distribution attorneys at Greenberg & Walden, LLC can help you fight this contested issue.

How does equitable distribution work?

First of all, marital property is considered any property that you and your spouse acquired together throughout your marriage. And so, the family court will follow equitable distribution law and divide your marital property between you and your spouse in a way that they find to be reasonable and just. In the state of New Jersey, retirement plans and pensions are considered marital property and therefore are subject to equitable distribution.

Is it possible for my spouse to take my retirement in a divorce?

With retirement plans and pensions being marital property, both you and your spouse have an ownership interest. Importantly, this is regardless of which spouse earned it and regardless of whether your spouse was listed as a participant in the plan.

And so, the New Jersey family court will look at a variety of factors when determining the value of your retirement plan and pension. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The type of retirement plan and pension in question.
  • The amount of time that has been credited to the retirement plan and pension in question.
  • The age of you and your spouse.

In what way will my spouse take my retirement in a divorce?

Once the New Jersey family court determines the value of your retirement plan and pension, then they will distribute it according to equitable distribution law. One way in which they will conduct this is through a buyout. Meaning, one spouse will pay a lump sum to the other spouse in exchange for their portion of the retirement plan and pension.

Though, a buyout is often not financially feasible, especially with the spousal support and child support orders that also come with a divorce. And so, another path the court may take is to order each spouse to receive a portion of the retirement plan and pension. Otherwise known as pension division, this path typically requires a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

For more information on how to handle your retirement assets in the event of a divorce, you must reach out to one of the skilled Hudson County family law attorneys today. You can schedule a free initial consultation with us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to speaking with you and working alongside you.

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