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How do I keep my retirement assets in my divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Property Division

Your long-term goal after divorce may be to lead a happier, more financially stable life without a relationship that holds you back. Of course, to reach that point, you first have to successfully complete the divorce process.

Divorcing couples in Virginia typically have to divide most of their property unless they already have a marital agreement in place. As someone without such an agreement, you may worry about your most valuable assets.

Your retirement accounts could be your primary concern. How do you preserve your retirement savings in your divorce?

Identify and value your retirement resources

You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your financial resources if you hope to negotiate a fair division of your property or push for an appropriate solution in family court. Performing a thorough review of all of your property, including your retirement resources, will be an important stage as you prepare for divorce.

Split your resources the right way

A qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is a special document that can facilitate the penalty-free division of your retirement account. If you must split retirement savings accounts, it is crucial to do so with the right documents so that you can avoid penalties.

Plan a careful budget for life after divorce

Inevitably, you will have to make certain compromises during the divorce process, which will mean you need to continue planning for your retirement. Whether you decide to work for a few extra years or adjust your retirement plans to include less travel or a lower-cost living arrangement, you will want to work out a budget ahead of time that will allow you to regain any lost ground for your finances during the divorce.

Make sure you have the right support

Someone who wants to manipulate or bully you could try to pressure you into agreeing to certain terms before you have time to consider them. More importantly, they may try to get you to sign documents without your own attorney reviewing them.

You will need the right help during divorce so that you don’t let your emotions get the better of you and so that you don’t fall victim to someone else’s manipulative behavior. Having someone assist you throughout the divorce will hopefully help you remain focused on your long-term goals and avoid the pitfalls commonly associated with the division of retirement assets during a divorce.

Being proactive is key to protecting valuable assets, like your retirement savings, as you plan for property division matters in your upcoming divorce.