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Am I Entitled to Any of My Spouse’s Retirement Savings in an Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneysThere are many reasons why people get divorced, and one of the most common is financial issues. Arguing over money or frivolous spending can cause a couple to grow apart. In some cases, it may destroy trust and result in the end of the marriage. During the divorce proceedings, anything the spouses owned together will need to be divided between the spouses. This is referred to as the division of marital assets and property. Certain assets might be in the form of retirement accounts, pension plans, or other investments acquired by one or both spouses. However, splitting these types of assets is not as easy as tangible items such as a house, furniture, or vehicles. The process can be complicated, so it is important to understand how they will be distributed according to Illinois divorce law.   

What Is “Equitable Distribution”?

In Illinois, marital property is just about anything the couple acquired during the time they were married. This is different from non-marital property, which are items or assets that one of the spouses owned prior to the marriage. Gifts and inheritance also fall into the non-marital or separate property category. 

Under Illinois law, “equitable distribution” in a divorce means that all the marital property will be divided between the spouses in a fair or equitable way, but not necessarily completely in half. Therefore, it is important to determine what portion of the retirement savings is considered to be marital property and subject to division during the divorce.

Pensions, Retirement Plans, and Investment Accounts

When determining how to divide retirement funds, it is important to determine their monetary value first. Forensic accountants, financial planners and appraisers can help with the valuation process for retirement assets. In some situations, these retirement accounts may be in only one spouse’s name, However, if the funding of the retirement account occurred during the marriage, the funds are likely to be considered marital property.

A simple way to determine the marital portion of a retirement plan is by calculating the percentage of the time one spouse worked for his or her company while married compared to the total time at the company. For instance, if the husband worked for his employer for 20 years and he was married to his wife for 10 of those years, approximately half of the retirement savings may be considered marital property. Therefore, the wife would be entitled to an equitable share of half of the retirement savings.

Some retirement investments, however, cannot be valued using simple percentages. Due to complicated vestiture rules, interest calculations, deferred contributions, and other considerations, determining the marital portion of your retirement savings may require the help of an expert financial professional. 

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

A divorce at any age is difficult, but when a couple has shared a life together for many years, it can be daunting to imagine life as a single person. If you and your spouse are considering ending your marriage, many issues will need to be resolved, such as dividing everything you owned together. In addition to physical property, this includes retirement accounts and investments. Anderson and Associates, P.C. have more than 30 years of experience to assist you. Our qualified Oak Brook asset division lawyers understand Illinois divorce laws and will advocate on your behalf to protect your rights to marital assets and property. To schedule your initial consultation, call our office today at 630-653-9400.





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