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Things to know about retirement assets when facing a divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Divorce

Many individuals in Colorado may put significant time and effort into planning and saving for retirement. While you might not want to let anything disrupt your retirement goals, sometimes things might not always go as planned. If you face a divorce, you might wonder about the role retirement assets could play in the process. 

Any type of retirement asset that is deemed marital wealth will likely be subject to the property division process. Understanding how retirement assets are handled during a divorce could prove vital to helping you prepare to make informed decisions about your future. However, the path to achieving such goals might not always be so clear. 

Topics to consider 

Retirement assets can play a significant role in the outcome of a divorce, and there may be various types of topics to consider when facing a similar situation in life, such as: 

  • Marital property: One of the first things to note is that, even if you start building retirement savings before marriage, any contributions or increases in value of such accounts during your marriage may be marital property. 
  • Dividing retirement funds: Knowing how to properly divide retirement assets in accordance with a divorce decree could also help stave off costly fees and penalties. In some cases, obtaining a Qualified Domestic Relations Order may be necessary. 
  • Tax factors: There may also be various tax factors to consider regarding retirement assets, and understanding these factors could be essential to mitigating risks and preserving your interests. 
  • Existing agreements: Existing agreements, such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, could also dictate how the court will handle retirement assets in divorce, provided they are valid and enforceable. 

In some cases, you might be able to retain possession of retirement accounts by relinquishing ownership of other marital assets in exchange, but this might not always be the best path in every situation. 

Understanding your options 

Dividing retirement assets can be one of the most complex aspects of dissolving a marriage. Since such assets could play a substantial role in your situation, it could be helpful to consider seeking insight in evaluating all your available options. Such a decision might help you better prepare to make informed choices about your situation. This could prove integral to creating a strategy for subsequent legal proceedings that best focuses on what is most important to your future and helps you approach the next chapter of life with confidence.