Spouses who are going through a divorce may wonder how their retirement savings will be affected. While no two Pennsylvania divorces are exactly the same, there are a few basic things individuals can expect.
One of the first things that will be considered is what happened before the marriage. When couples sign prenuptial agreements before tying the knot, they can design a custom plan that will dictate how their finances, including retirement savings, will be divided during a divorce. If a couple has this agreement, they will need to follow what was specified in it.
In most cases, money that has been added to either spouse’s retirement accounts are viewed as marital property. This also includes money that was added by their employers. All retirement account money is fair game during the divorce. The accounts will typically be divided, but various factors contribute to how the division is made. For example, courts will often look at how much each spouse makes and how much each spouse contributed to the accounts.
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is often used during the divorce proceeding when it’s time to separate retirement accounts. This court-issued document issued allows a spouse to contact the other spouse’s employer and ensure that they receive part of the retirement account they are entitled to. With this order, they can move funds from the account without either individual being penalized.
An attorney could help a client get through the property division process in a divorce. If necessary, the attorney could draw up the required documents and make sure none of the details are overlooked.