How will retirement accounts be treated in a divorce?

When a person in Kentucky thinks of property division and divorce, tangible items such as the family home, automobiles and furniture may be the first thing the person thinks of. However, there are many intangible assets that may also have a significant value and may be divided in a divorce. One such asset is retirement accounts.

In some cases retirement funds may be considered marital propertyand thus subject to division in a divorce. When an individual's divorce decree grants each spouse a share in a retirement account, it may be a good idea to make sure you have a qualified domestic relations order in place. This is an order of the court that lays out how retirement account benefits will be distributed to each spouse. It makes it so that the account administrator of the retirement plan can distribute plan benefits to each spouse as if the divorce never occurred, so that each spouse receives the proper benefits. QDROs can also be useful if a spouse enters into a subsequent marriage.

One type of retirement account that spouses should pay specific attention to is an Individual Retirement Account. In general, these types of accounts belong to the original accountholder. That being said, if money was paid into the account while the accountholder was married, these assets may be divisible. State law dictates how distributions will be calculated.

Retirement accounts are a valuable assets, as they may be the primary means through which people will support themselves financially after they stops working. Therefore, learning more about how one's retirement accounts will be treated after a divorce is very important. A divorce attorney could be a valuable source of information on this topic.