Preserving Your Nest Egg While Dividing Retirement Assets

Building your nest egg required dedication and smart financial planning. If you're like most people, however, you may not have anticipated what will happen to your retirement assets when you get divorced.

Many divorces pose unique challenges for couples who hope to live comfortably in their old age. Pensions, IRAs, insurance policies and similar assets can all be subject to court orders that slice them up. Fortunately, the Chicago lawyers at Yavitz & Levey, LLC, have the real-world case experience needed to help you understand your obligations and resolve conflicts that threaten to weaken your well-laid retirement plans.

Why Do Some Retirement Assets Get Split?

An asset's classification is a key factor in how it fares during divorce proceedings. Most assets can be designated as:

  • Separate property that was owned by either party before the marriage, or
  • Marital property that was acquired by either party during the marriage.

There are notable exceptions to this rule. Some assets, such as properties received as gifts or inheritances, are deemed separate properties even if they're acquired during the marriage. Many retirement benefits, however, are commonly held to constitute marital properties that will be divided when couples split.

How Does Division Impact Benefits?

The most significant effect that property division has on your retirement is that it can reduce the amount of benefits that you receive. Some divorcees can compensate for this with other sources of retirement income, but divisions may force them to completely rethink their futures. Divisions are commonly based on factors like the needs of each spouse, their incomes and earning capacities, and the value of the specific assets being divided.

Are There Better Alternatives?

Many problems arise when couples rely on courts to value and divide their retirement assets. A court-ordered allocation that seems fair to a judge may subject you to serious fiscal hardship, so why leave your life up to the whims of the judicial system?

Negotiating separation agreements with the assistance of the attorneys at Yavitz & Levey, LLC, grants you the ability to chart your own path. We can also clarify which of your spouse's retirement assets you're entitled to and help you secure your future.

By empowering you to make more educated decisions about when and how to file for divorce, we ensure that you won't be caught off guard when it's finally time to kick back and enjoy your retirement. Call us at 312-924-4400 or email us today.