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Dividing Retirement Accounts & Pension Plans in a Divorce

Published by: Scott Spooner • On: 05-10-2013 • Under: Divorce, Family Law
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Older couples who have been married for many years, but now want to end the marriage, usually no longer have to deal with dividing the responsibilities of parenting such as child support or child custody because their children are grown up. However, a long marriage usually means that over the years a lot of property and wealth have been acquired and investments have been made which belong to both spouses.  These assets should be divided fairly at the end of the marriage per the state laws.

Sometimes it comes as a surprise to a spouse that he or she does not have any claim to some property and/or investments in their marriage and equally surprising is the fact that some items, such as retirement accounts and pension plans, may not belong to an individual spouse but must be divided or shared in a divorce situation. An experienced Georgia divorce attorney can help you understand how Georgia divorce law will affect the division of your assets, including retirement accounts and pensions.  A thorough pre-divorce financial review helps protect your financial future and sometimes uncovers hidden assets.

Older Married Couples Largest Marital Assets are Usually Retirement Accounts & Pension Plans

It is often the case that retirement accounts and pension plans are the largest assets married people may have. When a couple is separating or divorcing and a spouse has a 401K or a pension plan, it is considered marital property and the other spouse has a legal right to part of it. Forbes recently ran an article about the complications of divorce and division of retirement plans.

This aspect of dividing retirement and pension plans in a divorce needs the expertise of an experienced Georgia divorce attorney.  There are many types of retirement accounts and rules and regulations regarding them.

Marital Property Division

Georgia marital property is subject to division in a divorce, but not all property within a marriage is considered marital property. Non-marital property is not divided but considered to belong exclusively to one spouse. What is not considered non-marital property in Georgia? Any assets acquired before marriage, assets acquired during the marriage by inheritance, and gifts given to a spouse by a third party.

In Georgia, marital property in a divorce is not necessarily divided equally, but rather in an equitable way which helps to insure “fairness.” For example a couple may have a home and a vacation home that is to be divided in a divorce. The value of the home is greater than that of the vacation property, so a fair solution would be to also give the spouse receiving the less valuable vacation property additional money that is equal to the difference in value between the properties.

Spooner & Associates, P.C., Atlanta Divorce Attorneys Getting the Results You Want

It is not just helpful, but really quite necessary to have the advice and guidance of a good family law attorney who can help a divorcing spouse work through the process of asset division. The experienced Suwanee divorce attorneys at Spooner & Associates, P.C. understand that going through the process of dividing marital property can be a very emotional and stressful time.  The firm’s attorneys help their clients deal with the process while making sure that their rights and financial needs are protected.

Contact the Atlanta divorce attorneys at Spooner & Associates, P.C. for help with your Georgia divorce. We can answer your questions and help you put your circumstances into perspective. Our knowledge and experience can protect your rights and help you to obtain a fair settlement or court judgement.

IF YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONTENTIOUS DIVORCE OR ARE IN

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Scott Spooner Scott Spooner

Scott is an attorney and founder of Spooner & Associates, PC, a family law firm focused on efficiently solving clients’ legal problems. A graduate of Georgia State University College of Law, Scott has assisted clients in metro Atlanta and Northeast Georgia courts for over 15 years. He is also a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution in the areas of domestic relations mediation, general mediation, and arbitration. In addition to representing many of his clients at divorce mediations, Scott has also served as a mediator to help other divorcing couples reach an amicable resolution.


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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This website is designed for general information only.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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