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The pros and cons of keeping your full 401(k) in your divorce

On Behalf of | May 19, 2021 | Firm News, Property Division |

Your retirement plans likely figure heavily into your personal financial strategy. So too does your marriage and the monetary obligations that come with it. It goes without saying, then, that your divorce will significantly impact each of those areas (yet in ways that go beyond simply who you will spend your golden years with in Georgia).

Many of those who come to us at Thomas A. Camp, P.C. find themselves surprised to learn that their 401(k) accounts are subject to property division during their divorce proceedings. If this also comes as a surprise to you, then you may justly question whether keeping your full 401(k) in your divorce is a possibility.

Fighting for your full 401(k)

It is, yet not without certain costs. According to the 401(k) Help Center, you can look to keep your full 401(k) in your divorce, yet doing so requires the cooperation of your ex-spouse. More specifically, your ex-spouse would need to agree to relinquish their interest in your 401(k). To incentivize them to do this, you would likely have to forego your stake in another marital asset (of comparable value) in return.

Understanding the potential future valuation of retirement assets

This may seem like a small sacrifice to keep your current retirement plans in place, yet you should consider this decision carefully before committing to it. You should understand that the court values retirement assets at their potential future value (not their current worth). This may mean that you must give up much more than you anticipate now in order to enjoy your full 401(k) in the future.

You can learn more about complex asset division topics such as this one by continuing to explore our site.