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How much of my retirement is actually mine after divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2017 | Divorce

You have worked hard to save for the future and retirement, but the end of your marriage could pose a threat to your hopes for your golden years. If you are thinking of filing for divorce or have already made that decision, you would be wise to take immediate action to understand your rights and how property division works in a Georgia divorce. 

Divorce involves various complex legal and financial decisions, and many divorce issues involve deep emotions as well. Either working on a property division agreement out of court or walking through litigation to reach a final resolution is complicated, and an experienced Georgia lawyer can help you protect your future financial interests, particularly as they involve your retirement savings.

What’s going to happen to my retirement?

How and if your retirement plans will be impacted by your divorce depends largely on the type of plans in question. Generally, all marital property is eligible for division in a divorce, which likely includes any retirement funds to which both parties have contributed over the course of the marriage. When it comes to your long-term savings, property division and your divorce, you should know:

  • A court can decide to reward all or a portion of a retirement plan to one party.
  • The ex-spouse may not have immediate access to his or her portion of the retirement plan, but may have to wait until the other ex-spouse’s retirement or death.
  • Most retirement plans require a qualified domestic relations order before releasing any portion of the plan’s assets.

A QDRO orders the retirement plan to be used toward any court ordered payments, such as alimony or child support. It is wise to seek knowledgeable counsel whether you are looking to draft a property division agreement out of court or you need to draft an appropriate QDRO.

Don’t face the complexities of property division on your own

When it comes to your financial post-divorce future, you do not want to risk any issues or problems. You will find it greatly beneficial to work with a lawyer who not only can advocate for your interests, but who can also help you reach a reasonable agreement through negotiations, if possible.

There is no cookie-cutter solution for dividing assets in a divorce, but you have the right to seek a full understanding of what will happen to your savings and plans for the future. Divorce may mean the end of your marriage, but it certainly does not have to signal the end of your carefully laid plans for the years to come.