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How Are Retirement Plans Divided
in Divorce? 

One of the most important property division issues divorcing couples face is how to divide their retirement plans. After all, they have probably been saving the money for decades, and it is how most of us plan to fund our “golden years.” 

Retirement plans are divided as a part of the overall property division in the divorce. It does not matter which spouse earned the retirement money that was accumulated during the marriage. 

Community or Separate Property?

The first question in the analysis of retirement assets is to ask whether the retirement is separate or community property, or a portion in each category. The portion of a retirement plan that is proven to be earned prior to marriage remains separate property and the portion earned during the marriage is community property. 

The second question in the analysis is whether the plan is a defined benefit plan, which is usually a pension; a defined contribution plan, which is usually a 401k, 403(b) or similar; an IRA of some kind; or some other kind of executive retirement compensation.
Then, get to know your QRDO.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson provides expertise, focus and compassion in times of family turmoil, having skillfully litigated and tried complex divorce, property division, and child custody cases for more than 30 years.

She has been Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1992. Subscribe to the firm's newsletter here.

Our Property Division Practice

One of the most important issues to resolve during a divorce is the division of property between both spouses. Before the court can divide the community property in a divorce the Court must determine whether the property owned at the time of the divorce is community property or separate property.

It is common for spouses to fundamentally disagree over the value of an asset or who is entitled to what. We regularly deal with complex property division and work closely with experts such as forensic accountants and business valuation experts to maximize our client’s position. 

Learn more about how we serve our clients. 

A Client's Perspective

"You were diligent, thorough, transparent and got the divorce process done as quickly as possible. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
- J.J., a former client
The highest compliment I receive is your referrals. If you know someone in need of assistance in a family law matter, please don't hesitate to share my contact information: and 214-303-0142. Thank you!

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