There is nothing easy about divorce. It takes both a financial and emotional toll on everyone involved.
However, you should learn about ways to protect your retirement assets during the divorce process.
Calculate your personal and marital assets
In 2021, 689,308 people pursued divorces. Despite the falling divorce rate, you may find yourself facing this challenge, and you likely want to protect your retirement savings.
Therefore, you should calculate the value of your personal and marital assets. Your personal assets include everything you had before you got married. Anything you inherited is also a personal asset unless you and your spouse were both heirs. You need to know the values of everything you jointly own before you begin negotiations.
Calculate retirement contributions
Any retirement contributions you made prior to your marriage are personal assets, but dividends you received and contributions you made during your marriage are marital assets. If your spouse also invested in a retirement account and received dividends, this amount can offset your own. Therefore, carefully calculate all these values.
Learn about the asset division laws
In Pennsylvania, the judge will look over your assets and complete an equitable distribution. Unlike a community property state, you and your spouse may not receive the exact same distribution. Instead, the judge will consider what is fair and distribute your marital assets accordingly.
Negotiate a settlement
It is always better to negotiate your asset division. If you want to keep your retirement intact, consider offering other assets instead. You may have to give up something you value, but you can better secure your financial future.
You have significant control over keeping your retirement assets, but you need to keep an open mind and do your due diligence.