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How does divorce affect my retirement?

The marriage didn’t work out. Now that divorce talks are starting, you’re probably wondering how the asset division process will affect some of your most important accounts — retirement pensions.

Like many in Georgia, you’ve been saving up for the golden years all your life. It’s understandable that you don’t want those retirement savings to end up in somebody else’s pocket. You no doubt have a lot of questions and concerns about how much you’ll get to keep after the divorce.

Safeguard your retirement accounts

If you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to specifically designate your retirement assets as belonging to you alone, then the assets will be split between you and your ex-spouse in the divorce. This includes all your retirement accounts and pensions, like 401(k)s and IRAs.

Yes, even Social Security

You paid into the Social Security system your entire career. Until the divorce, your ex-spouse was planning on sharing your benefits during retirement. It’s important to note that if your marriage lasted at least 10 years, your ex could still qualify to get half of your Social Security benefits even if you marry someone else.

To get those benefits, all the following additional factors must be true in your ex-spouse’s situation:

  • They are not married
  • They are at least age 62
  • You qualify for Social Security retirement or disability
  • The benefits they are entitled to based on their own employment history are worth less than the amount they would get from your Social Security benefits

Splitting the house

If you owned a house in the marriage, that house is another major asset. Often in divorce, one person will keep the house as a big part of their half of the marriage’s assets. Otherwise, the house could be sold and the profits evenly divided between you two.

Finding legal assistance

Divorce is complicated, especially when there are many assets to split. If you are facing asset division issues, it’s important you understand all your rights, obligations and options. Talk to an experienced Georgia divorce lawyer who can see you get the fairest treatment possible and help protect your retirement plans.