Dividing up your 401k in your divorce

As you prepare to tackle property division as part of your divorce proceedings in Nashville, understand that you will almost certainly be surprised to discover just how many assets are subject to being split between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. The most common asset that those that we here at Rogers, Shea & Spanos Attorneys at Law have worked with in past claim to be the surprised at learning of its status as a marital asset is their 401ks. Your 401k exits solely because of your career. Why, then, should your ex-spouse be able to benefit from it?

It is not your 401k itself that is considered a marital asset, but rather then funds that are contributed to it during the time that you were married. The same principle allows your salary and whatever property you purchased with it to be subject to property division. Just like with those assets, the court will seek to divide of the value of your 401k contributions equitably.

Per the 401k Help Center, one of the more common ways to split up the value of 401k contributions during a divorce is to seek a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A QDRO allows an investment account to be payed to an alternate payee (in this case, your ex-spouse). When issuing a QDRO to divide investment account assets, the court will typically mandate the creation of your ex-spouse’s own account, into which his or her determined portion of your 401k can be rolled over into.

Would you like to avoid the hassle of having to split up your 401k? Many experts recommend relinquishing your claim to other marital assets in order to retain the full value of your 401k if this is your goal. More information on dividing marital assets can be found here on our site.