Many people who go through the divorce process are surprised to find out that they have to share their pension plan, 401(k), IRA and other retirement accounts with their spouse. Retirement savings are often the most significant assets a person owns.
At Harmon Caldwell, our divorce and retirement lawyers are here to protect your interests if you are going through or planning a divorce. In this guide, we explain how to protect your retirement accounts throughout the divorce process.
Isn’t My Retirement Account Mine?
Even though your retirement account is in your name alone, it is considered marital property. In Georgia, all assets accumulated after your marriage are marital property and are subject to equitable distribution.
For many people, retirement assets will consist of two parts:
- The portion accumulated before your marriage is separate property and doesn’t have to be shared with your spouse.
- The portion accumulated after your marriage is marital property and must be divided according to the law of equitable distribution.
What Does “Equitable” Mean?
In most cases, “equitable” will mean 50-50, but a judge could determine that an unequal distribution is equitable if there is income disparity between you and your spouse or fault grounds in the divorce.
When negotiating an equitable division of marital assets, you and your spouse can agree to exchange assets. For example, you can give your spouse your share of the marital residence in exchange for your spouse’s share of your 401(k) account.
Contact Our Atlanta Divorce Attorney Today
Whether you are planning for a divorce or you need to respond to a divorce filing by your spouse, our skilled Atlanta divorce lawyer is here to advise you. Please contact us today and arrange a personal, discreet consultation.
Call Harmon Caldwell at (404) 882-7263 to speak to our Atlanta divorce lawyer today.