By Jennifer M. Paine
Cordell & Cordell Divorce Lawyer
If you and your wife are like most divorcing couples, one or both of you obtained or contributed to a retirement account during your marriage.
In all states, retirement accounts are marital property eligible to be divided between the spouses at divorce, and, in most states, the rule requires a 50-50 division for the amount that accrued during the marriage – regardless of which spouse actually contribute in work hours and pay to the account.
Yes, there are some, limited exceptions to this rule, such as a prenuptial agreement and circumstances of financial or marital fault – but these are rare exceptions.
And that’s a hard reality to face for a guy who’s spent several decades working to retire peacefully only to learn that the wife who is divorcing him is taking half of his work efforts with her.
"50-50," however, only begins the inquiry. Whether settling your case or preparing with your divorce attorney and financial advisor for trial, be sure to ask these seven essential questions about dividing your retirement in divorce: