Many people put off initiating divorce because they worry about the impact divorce and living alone afterward could have on their finances. This makes sense – after all, life is rarely less expensive when you are managing a home on a single income. But staying in an unhappy or abusive marriage is often untenable, even when finances are a compelling factor in the decision-making process. If you are considering divorce and are wondering how the asset division process could impact your financial portfolio, especially your hard-earned retirement, contact an Illinois divorce attorney.
What Happens to Retirement Accounts in Divorce?
Retirement accounts are treated like any other part of the marital estate in a divorce. Illinois law requires marital assets to be divided fairly, although not necessarily equally, and this is true for retirement accounts as well. If you earned any portion of your retirement account before getting married, it is important to determine how much of the overall value of the account is made up of pre-marital funds. These are your personal property and will likely belong to you after the divorce, regardless of what happens with the remainder of the value of the account.
Unless it was protected by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, however, any other money earned by either spouse and placed in a retirement account during the length of the marriage is considered marital property and will need to be divided. However, couples are free to create a property division agreement that they both find suitable. This means that, when taking other financial factors like spousal support (alimony), the marital home, or savings accounts into consideration, a spouse may be able to negotiate a greater portion of his retirement account for himself.
If a couple cannot reach an agreement on their own, even with the help of court-ordered mediation, then a judge may need to allocate their assets between them. Judges can take into account how long the marriage lasted, the quality of life enjoyed by the married couple, whether one couple stayed home to raise children and take care of the home, the earning potential of each spouse, and other relevant factors.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Asset Division Lawyer Today
Retirement accounts can make a majority of your net worth. If you are nearing retirement age and are worried about how divorce could impact your ability to care for yourself later in life, schedule a free, confidential consultation with a DuPage County, IL divorce attorney with Goostree Law Group. We will fight for your rights throughout your divorce so you get the most favorable outcome possible. Call 630-364-4046 today.