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Dividing Pension Benefits in Your Divorce Case

Posted in Divorce, Family Law on Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Getting your fair share of marital property and assets in your divorce is important in adjusting to life on one income. During marital property division proceedings, you need to consider any retirement and pension benefits you or your spouse may have accumulated. You may be entitled to a portion of these assets, but you need an experienced divorce attorney to guide you in claiming these assets and avoiding potential tax penalties.

Retirement and Pension Benefits In Your Divorce Case

Under Illinois law, any property or assets earned, acquired, or otherwise accumulated during your marriage are divided on an equitable, rather than even, basis. This takes into consideration factors such as the length of the marriage, the earnings and potential income of each spouse, and any career or educational sacrifices one spouse made in support of the other.

Over the course of your marriage, you or your spouse may have earned pension benefits through an employer, or you may have participated in an employer sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401k. These funds should be disclosed and included as part of any marital property agreement or order from the court, but you need an experienced divorce attorney to ensure they are distributed properly.

Potential Issues With Retirement Benefits In Your Divorce

If you are entitled to a portion of your spouse’s retirement or pension benefits, you will need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order before the plan administrator can make any distributions. To be sure, less experienced divorce attorneys may not be familiar with how these orders should be structured or the types of information which must be included. This increases the possibility of mistakes in wording or content that could end up jeopardizing your rights in claiming these benefits further down the line.

An additional consideration is how you intend to take any distributions you are entitled to. Under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines, taking early distributions on retirement benefits could leave you paying heavy tax penalties. Depending on your situation, you may need to roll these funds over into your own retirement account or opt for a delayed payment once you or your spouse reaches retirement age.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Before making decisions or signing any agreements that could jeopardize your financial security, contact Sabuco, Beck, Hansen, Massino & Pollack, P.C. first. We have the experience you need to help you get the maximum amount you are entitled to. Call or contact us online and request a consultation with our Will County divorce attorneys today.

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