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Leesburg Divorce Attorney > Blog > Divorce > How Divorce Impacts Retirement Benefits

How Divorce Impacts Retirement Benefits


When going through a divorce in Leesburg, most people eagerly look forward to the day when they get their final divorce order. Many assume that once they are officially divorce, they can put their troubled marriage behind them and begin rebuilding their new lives. While this is true to some degree, you need to be aware of how any divorce settlements that were reached could impact your future plans. This is particularly important when it comes to your retirement benefits.

401ks, Pensions, and Other Retirement Benefit Plans: How These Are Handled In A Virginia Divorce

401ks, IRAs, employer-provided pension benefits, and other retirement accounts help to ensure you are provided for in the future. While you may be years from reaching retirement age when you file for a divorce, it could still impact your rights regarding these benefits.

Under the Virginia Code, any marital property and assets must be divided on an equitable basis between you and your spouse. This means that rather than splitting everything evenly, the judge will consider certain factors, such as each parties income or earning potential and their contributions to the marriage, in reaching a property division order that is fair to both. In addition to dividing homes, cars, householding belongings, funds in bank accounts, and other items earned, acquired, or accumulated over the course of your marriage, you may also need to divide retirement benefits.

If you paid into a 401k or pension fund, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of these benefits. Depending on the specific circumstances involved, this could dramatically reduce your overall savings, impacting your future plans and extending the amount of time you would need to continue working. In some cases, you may be able to work out other arrangements in order to protect these benefits, such as giving your spouse a larger share of other assets or assuming a larger portion of marital debts.

Divorce and Social Security Retirement Benefits

In addition to having a right to your pension or funds in other retirement accounts, divorcing spouses may also be entitled to a portion of their former partner’s Social Security retirement benefits. Your ex-spouse may be eligible to receive payments if they meet the following qualifications:

  • If you were in a marriage that lasted at least ten years;
  • If you are age 62 or older;
  • If your former spouse remains unmarried;
  • If the amount of Social Security benefits they would be entitled to receive through you is more than what they would be entitled to receive on their own.

In addition to being entitled to retirement benefits, they may also be entitled to any disability benefits you are eligible to receive.

Let Us Help You Today

Divorce has the potential to impact your general well being and your financial security for years into the future. To protect yourself, get our legal team at Schwartz Kalina, PLLC. on your side. To discuss the various options available in your particular case, call or contact our Leesburg divorce attorney online and request a consultation today.

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