Divorce attorney discussing with couple

How Is a Divorce  and the 401K Handled? 


In Boca Raton, retirement plans are typically considered marital property.  This includes pension accounts, annuities, Keoghs, IRAS, 401k plans and other deferred compensation plans.  As such, these plans and benefits are subject to equitable distribution even though they are in one spouse’s name.  With a divorce and the 401k, you must take into consideration this form of distribution.  The value of the 401k is based on the portion of the fund that has accrued during the marriage and until the valuation date.

To determine the value of the 401k in divorce, the party must compare the current value of the account from the account statement with its value on the date immediately prior to the marriage.  The date to determine the value is usually on the day that the divorce petition was filed.

For many older couples and career-oriented parties, 401k balances can be significant, so it is important to remember to account for these assets in the divorce plan.  Other retirement accounts are also subject to distribution, but valuing them can be more complex.

Deborah Beylus has decades of experience working in both the legal and financial arenas.  Her experience in the finance industry equips her with unique characteristics that allow her to provide accurate information pertaining to the valuation of assets and other complex considerations concerning the financial aspect of divorce.  Through mediation, she can help the parties see the value of reaching their own agreement rather than litigating the case for a higher expense.  She can suggest ways that couples can fairly split their assets, including keeping their own retirement accounts while equalizing the share of each spouse through other assets, using a QDRO for retirement accounts to fulfill the necessary terms and adjusting spousal support based on the distribution of assets.  She can also mention the potential tax consequences of different decisions so that the parties are able to minimize the negative tax impact of any financial decisions made when determining how to divide assets.

South Florida Mediation Services