When getting a divorce, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered about your finances and how they can be affected by a divorce. One of those questions you may be concerned about is whether or not your ex-spouse can have access to your retirement funds in a divorce. Ultimately, dividing and ensuring that your retirement benefits are secured can be a very complicated process during a divorce and not only make the divorce process longer but also more expensive. To ensure that your retirement benefits are properly secured, speak with a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County. At Simonetti & Associates, our goal is to provide you with trusted and experienced legal support to help your divorce go as quickly and easily as possible and be sure that you are keeping what is rightfully yours from your divorce.
What parts of your retirement plan does your ex-spouse have access to?
It is important to note that all aspects of your retirement and marital property are divided and secured during the divorce process. Your ex-spouse can’t change or request any share of your benefits after the divorce is finalized. Make sure you go over the below topics with your divorce lawyer in Suffolk County to ensure you are protecting yourself during this process:
- The division of funds – The part of your retirement funds that will be divided will only be the funds that were accrued during the time of the marriage. Any money contributed to your retirement plan before or after the marriage is not considered when dividing the funds.
- The division of defined benefit plans – Courts rarely force one of the spouses to cash in on their retirement plan at the time of the divorce due to tax and penalties. It can also eliminate years of potential growth that the plan may have originally had. If you have a defined benefit plan, like a pension, the court will likely choose one of the following two ways to divide it. The first is that your ex-spouse will receive 10% of the funds at the time you start receiving it. The other way, which is more likely to be done if the is for your ex-spouse to receive other assets that would be equal to the expected value of the benefits so that your pension isn’t changed or touched.
- The division of defined contribution plans – If you have an IRA or 401(k), it will be divided between you and your ex-spouse just like a defined benefit plan where your ex-spouse will receive a portion of the funds when retirement begins, or the amount can be offset by giving your ex-spouse other assets equal to the amount they would receive.
- Social security – If your ex-spouse doesn’t get remarried, has fewer benefits than you, and you were married to each other for 10 or more years, your ex-spouse can collect your social security based on your work history. However, your benefits will not be taken away from yourself. In New York as well, your social security might also come into consideration when talking about the division of retirement benefits.
How a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County can help:
When going through a divorce, it’s important to have a legal team that you can trust, is experienced, and is there to support you the whole way through. Utilizing a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County can help ensure that you are getting a legal team that can do just that. The lawyers at Simonetti & Associates have decades of experience and will fully invest themselves in your divorce case so that you can be sure you are receiving the absolute best legal guidance at all stages of your divorce, and especially when it comes to securing your retirement funds. Contact us for more information on how we can help you.