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Retirement Plan Division in a Virginia Divorce

By June 12, 2023Divorce

What questions do you have about a retirement plan division?

Divorce can bring about significant changes in life, including financial matters and retirement plans. You work to save money and strive for a comfortable future. Life can take unexpected turns, the person you envisioned sharing your golden years with doesn’t accompany you on your journey. Despite the circumstances of a relationship coming to an end, you need to look out for yourself and your future. 

When it comes to divorce in Virginia, understanding how retirement plans are divided is crucial to ensure that you can receive fair and equitable settlement. The intricate process of retirement plan division requires careful navigation of legal frameworks and expert guidance. Whether you are contemplating a divorce or in the midst of one, you need to be informed to make the right decisions and safeguard your assets for your retirement.

We’re here to help you make the right decisions

We know how emotionally draining going through a divorce can be. Our aim is to assist you in identifying tailored and effective legal strategies for your specific circumstances. We can provide you with the essential resources required to successfully execute these strategies.

If you’re worried about what your future might look like post-divorce, give our team a call. We’re your partners in this process. Our dedicated support team is committed to providing compassionate assistance throughout your journey, ensuring that we achieve the best possible outcome for your case. We understand the importance of having a reliable support system during this challenging process, and we are here to guide and advocate for you every step of the way.

Retirement Accounts can be either Separate or Joint Marital Property

In the process of asset division in Virginia, the courts play a vital role in determining the ownership of assets, distinguishing between those that belong to both spouses jointly and those that belong to each spouse individually. 

One of the crucial roles of a Virginia family court when it comes to divorce is asset division. The court may be tasked with distinguishing between assets that belong to one spouse or belong to both spouses. This is known as Separate Property and Marital Property

During a valuation, which is the assessment of assets into whether they’re separate or joint, family court will most likely subject retirement accounts to a division. But, there can be exceptions to this rule.

The big questions when it comes to retirement account divisions and divorce:

  • Did the retirement account accrue value before or after the marriage? 
  • Is the retirement account only under one spouse’s name?
  • Do you have more than one type of account? 
  • Do you have a military pension?

The complexity of asset division goes beyond the scope of this article, as there are numerous considerations to take into account. The intricacies involved in properly dividing assets require a deep understanding of the legal landscape and a careful examination of the specific circumstances of each case. From completing necessary forms to obtaining court orders and attending hearings, the process can involve multiple steps and require meticulous attention to detail. It is crucial to seek professional legal guidance to navigate through these intricate procedures and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the asset division process.

Virginia’s Asset Division 50 Percent Rule

The Asset Division 50 Percent Rule refers to the maximum amount of the cash benefit of a Virginia retirement account that can be awarded in a divorce.The court cannot award more than 50% of the cash benefits actually received by the party against whom such award is made.

Pension Plans and Divorce

Like 401(k)s, IRAs, and other retirement plans, pensions (defined benefit plans), can also be considered marital property, at least partially. One of the biggest issues with dividing pensions comes with how to calculate the value of the pension. 

Finding the value of a pension can be difficult. A lot of factors need to be taken into account and even the employer that sponsors the pension needs to be considered. The complexity arises from the need to assign a value to a future income stream, typically monthly payments, and convert it into a lump sum payment representing its current value. When this approach is taken, the court can include the present value of the pension as part of the overall division of marital assets.

An Asset Division Lawyer is Crucial

Strictly speaking, a DIY divorce is possible and it’s completely legal. Still, when it comes to the complexities of dividing retirement accounts that contain significant assets and come with strict policies, you should not leave anything to chance. 

Any property acquired during the marriage, a 401 k plan, an IRA, and other valuables, can be subject to division. When you file for divorce, you don’t want your assets to be divided unfairly. 

If you’re located in Roanoke, Salem, or the surrounding areas, schedule a consultation with our team. Our property division lawyers are well-versed and experienced in dividing marital property, understanding state laws, and coming up with creative solutions to your most pressing issues. Our divorce attorneys have your back. Hit the link below to learn more.

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