Same Sex Divorce Lawyer
When saving for retirement, you generally figure out an amount that you need to accumulate in order to be comfortable in your senior years. If you were married, the amount was calculated as you living as a couple during retirement. Now that you are going through a divorce, the question arises as to if your spouse is entitled to a portion of your retirement funds. This could be in for form of a 401K from your place of employment or any private retirement investment accounts you may have.
There are three basic types of retirement benefits: Social Security benefits, retirement plans such as IRAs, 401Ks and pensions, and for many, military plans. How does divorce affect your retirement benefits and more specifically, how much do you have to give up to your spouse?
The Reasons Your Retirement Funds are Divided When Divorced
Depending on the state where you reside, retirement benefits are determined to be part of the marital estate and will be divided in an equitable fashion. This does not mean it will be divided into equal parts. The court looks at several factors when determining how to divide retirement funds. These benefits are not considered the separate property of just the spouse who contributed to the account or worked for the company that offered the retirement benefits. This spouse may feel it is unfair to forfeit a portion of a benefit that the other spouse did not contribute to. The reasons — and the law — say this about dividing the retirement benefits:
- Even though the non-working spouse did not contribute to the retirement plan financially, they were still contributing to the marriage in other important means. For example, caring for the children and managing the home. The nonworking spouse may not get exactly half of the benefits; however, they will get half of the benefits earned during the time of the marriage.
- If the marriage were to stay intact, the other spouse would eventually benefit from the retirement savings. In planning how much to put aside for these accounts, both spouses likely worked together to calculate how much they needed to save to achieve the desired lifestyle after retirement.
What Happens to Social Security Benefits in a Divorce?
If the ex-spouse meets certain requirements, they may be able to receive the Social Security benefits based on the ex-spouse’s earnings, if certain eligibility requirements are met.
- They were married at least ten years
- The spouse seeking the benefits is not married
- The ex-spouse’s benefits are less than what they would receive based on the earnings record of the other ex-spouse
- Both ex-spouses must be at least 62 years old
- The ex-spouse must make application with the Social Security Administration
If the ex-spouse remarries, they are no longer entitled to the Social Security benefits of the other ex-spouse.
Allowing an experienced same sex divorce lawyer to handle your divorce gives you the peace of mind knowing that they have your best interests at heart and they will work to make sure the terms of the divorce are fair.