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Is my retirement account at risk in the divorce?

Certain assets have more financial value than others, while some personal property may have significant emotional value. Your retirement savings may represent both substantial financial value and emotional value to you, which can make them hard to address objectively if you divorce.

Your retirement savings may help you feel comfortable about your future, and they may also make you feel proud of your long work history and financial responsibility. The idea that you may have to divide those savings in a divorce may make you angry or might make you panic because you believe you will not have time to rebuild your financial resources before you reach retirement age.

Are your retirement savings vulnerable in an Indiana divorce?

Yes, retirement accounts are often divisible

Some people have marital agreements or contracts with their spouses that allow them to very quickly divide the resources without argument because there was already a mutual agreement as to the terms. If you do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement with your spouse, then your retirement savings are at least partially part of your marital estate.

You and your spouse share income and property, and you will have to share those assets in a fair manner if you divorce. Any contributions to the account from during the marriage can influence marital property division, even if the account is solely in your name and you had already begun making deposits when you first got married.

A judge might order you to divide the account in accordance with Indiana’s equitable distribution law, or they might use the value of the account when making other key decisions about the division of your property. When couples have to divide retirement accounts as part of a divorce, they can often do so without penalties if they follow the correct process.

If keeping the entire retirement account is your main priority in the divorce, you can adjust your strategy during negotiations or Court proceedings accordingly. Those with very firm and specific goals often benefit from settling with their spouse so that they retain control over the outcome of the divorce. Identifying the assets that matter the most to you can help you better navigate the property division process in an Indiana divorce.