How Retirement Accounts Are Divided In Ohio Divorce
Retirement accounts and benefits are not the first thing you think of in divorce. But after homeownership, retirement accounts are the largest assets for most households.
Valuing and dividing retirement benefits is a complex business. In the case of 401(k)s, for instance, plans are so complex that inexperienced attorneys can get into deep trouble. That’s why it is essential that you work with a retirement fund division attorney like those at Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson.
Our lawyers are experienced in every kind of retirement account and employee benefit, including:
- Pension plans
- Roth and educational IRAs
- SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) IRAs
- Profit-sharing plans
- ESOPs (Employee stock ownership plans)
- TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund) plans
- 457 plans
- Thrift and savings plans
- Defined contribution plans
- Defined benefit plans
- Non-ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) plans (top hat plans, SERPs or Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans and rabbi trusts)
- FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) plans
- Railroad Retirement Plan Tier II benefits
- Military retirement plans
Because of our more than a century and a half of combined experience in family law, we are trusted by many individuals to do the intricate work of dividing these funds. This is true of all our clients, but it is especially true of high-end divorce, where the stakes are naturally high and tax issues are critically important.
What Are Your Retirement Savings Options?
You have several choices when it comes to dividing retirement savings plans. Some of the options you might wish to consider include:
- For solo accounts:
- Keep the account in your name, and offer your spouse an equivalent amount of other marital assets.
- Close down the account, and split the assets equitably with your spouse.
- For joint accounts:
- Close the account, and divide the assets equitably.
- Transfer the account into one spouse’s name, and give the other spouse an equivalent amount of other marital assets.
- Keep the account as is, and divide the assets equitably in the future when you retire.
If possible, you can work with your former spouse to determine an equitable manner in which to divide your retirement savings. If you cannot reach an agreement, then you and your attorney may need to proceed to court to receive a court order from a family law judge.