Are you entitled to a portion of your spouse’s pension?
In today’s marriages, retirement benefits can be one of the largest assets owned by a couple. For couples going through a divorce, the division of a pension plan can have long term effects on both parties’ financial futures.
A pension is typically one party’s entitlement to a benefit upon retirement. In determining if the pension is subject to division between the spouses, it must first be determined if the pension is marital property. If the pension was acquired prior to marriage, then it is separate property and not subject to division. It should be noted that the court can take into consideration separate property in determining an equitable division of marital assets but it is only one of several factors to consider.
If the pension was acquired all or in part during the marriage, then all or part will be considered a marital asset and subject to division. One way to divide a pension is to determine the present value of the marital portion of the pension and divide the value between the spouses, along with the other assets of the marriage. Another way to divide a pension is to divide it between the spouses so that each spouse receives a portion of the pension on a monthly basis post retirement. Like all assets, a pension has to be considered in light of the other assets and debts of the marriage to determine how it will be equitably divided.
Attorney Melanie Hogg is familiar with division of property in high asset divorce and post-divorce estate planning. Call (865) 685-4780 to schedule a case assessment.