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How Does Divorce Affect My 401(k)?

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You have worked very hard over the years and are now looking forward to retirement. That excitement can quickly turn to anxiety if you are heading towards divorce. This is because you fear that your spouse is entitled to part of your 401k. In many cases, your retirement account might be your most important and lucrative marital asset other than your marital home.

Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means that your assets are distributed in a way that is fair. Your 401k falls into this category, along with other savings accounts that were shared between you and your spouse.

Negotiate your 401(k)

Coming to terms with your spouse is the best recourse other than getting the courts involved. If you and your spouse can settle the details and distribution of the marital assets, then go for mediation or collaborative divorce. Even if there are bad feelings between you, if you want to keep your 401(k) safe or you think you deserve a portion of your spouse’s benefits, it is in your best interest to seek counsel from a qualified divorce lawyer to help you negotiate.

Splitting your 401(k)

The actual division of your 401(k) has tax ramifications. You may also need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which allows the court to transfer ownership interest of the 401k to the spouse. It would be a comfort and relief to you if you consult a professional to help you manage this step and aspect of the divorce process.

There are a few things that go into valuing your 401k. This includes when the account was opened and how much money was invested before and during your marriage. This will allow the courts to determine if the money that was invested is considered marital property.

Protecting your assets needs to be a priority during your divorce. The attorneys at Petrelli previtera have experience working cases with various levels of assets, so we can help you develop a strategy to make sure you come out of your divorce with as little damage as possible. Schedule your consultation today so we can get started.

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