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Can you still retire after divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2022 | Family Law

Divorce is certainly going to impact your finances on numerous levels, and that can also have an impact on your retirement options. Remember that gray divorce is growing more common, so more and more people who are ending their marriages are close to retirement age.

The problem this creates is that some people believe they won’t be able to retire after they get divorced. Maybe you married your spouse the same year they got a job at a major corporation with a great pension plan. They’ve stayed there the entire time and both of you have long planned on using that pension as your only retirement fund. But if you get divorced, does that mean you would lose access to the pension and retirement would never be possible?

Dividing all of your assets

The key thing to remember here is that the pension plan is a marital asset. You were married when your spouse begin to earn it, so it is the same as other types of compensation. If their paycheck is a marital asset and you have access to health insurance and other benefits, then the pension can usually be defined as a marital asset, as well.

Naturally, your spouse isn’t getting their pension yet, so there’s nothing to divide. But you can use a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to define how the pension should be divided between the two of you in the future. Once your spouse does retire and begins to draw that pension, then the QDRO kicks in and a percentage of it is sent to you each month.

Securing your future

If you’re nervous about your financial future as you head toward a divorce, you can see that there are often legal tools you can use to secure a positive future for yourself. Make sure that you know what steps to take.