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How to Protect Your 401(k) in Divorce

What Will Your Post-Divorce 401(k) Split Look Like?

Many employees have built up substantial 401(k) accounts, pensions and other financial instruments. One of the top concerns for people who are heading for divorce is how to protect their future retirement. This aspect of property division in a divorce can loom extra large in the minds of people aged 50 and older – and younger ones, as well.

As you examine questions about the distribution of retirement assets in your divorce, answers may depend on how close you are to retirement.

  • Perhaps you are already retired and part of your income comes from your 401(k), pension and/or other retirement accounts. How will those assets hold up? Divorce after retirement can be scary, when your prime earning years have most likely passed by.
  • Perhaps you are not retired yet, but it is not far off. People approaching retirement age often feel vulnerable as they realize that their time to rely on retirement assets is just around the bend.
  • Younger people, too, may understand that the strength of their retirement funds can have a large impact on their future financial well-being.

At our firm, attorney Shawn H. Smith can help you develop a strategy for keeping your retirement as financially healthy as it can be despite your divorce.

401(k) And Divorce: Aspects That May Apply In Your Case

Parties to divorce often believe that the spouse who contributed to a 401(k) program will retain it after a marriage ends. This is not necessarily true. Colorado courts have made it clear that a retirement plan can be divided the way other marital assets are divided.

At the Law Offices of Shawn H. Smith, we can help you explore ways to protect your 401(k) and other retirement accounts in divorce. While shining a light on tax considerations and ERISA compliance requirements, attorney Shawn H. Smith can guide you through the process of negotiating the division of your retirement accounts and other complex assets.

Once the basis for the division of your 401(k) is clear, we may bring in professionals to assist in the drafting of complex qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) to establish the current or future division of your retirement account(s). A QDRO will indicate to account administrators how to divide retirement benefits between you and your spouse.

Serving clients in Greeley, Fort Collins and communities throughout northern Colorado for over a decade, the Law Offices of Shawn H. Smith is a valuable asset. People who will divide retirement accounts and other complex assets in a divorce can rely on attorney Shawn H. Smith’s deep understanding of this topic.

Explore Your Options For Dividing A 401(k) And Other Retirement Assets In Your Colorado Divorce

You can reach us by phone at 970-387-6858 or send an email inquiry. Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.