Is a 401(k) divisible during divorce?

posted in: Divorce Mediation | 0

One of the most difficult and emotional parts of divorce is dividing up the belongings that you and your spouse have accumulated over the course of your marriage. Whether you were married for five months, five years or five decades, determining who gets what can bring out a nasty side to your spouse that you may not have known before. This can lead to an attempt to hide assets from Colorado courts. Forbes.com details one of the most common pieces of property that is overlooked during your divorce: your spouse’s 401(k) account.

When it comes to the 401(k) and divorce, the account is divisible even if your spouse has not yet exercised his or her stock options. This retirement benefit is just as much both of your property as the yearly salary, so you should have just as much right to a portion of it.

Many spouses will attempt to lie to their partner about what is considered joint property. If any land, houses or vehicles were offered to your spouse as part of a retirement or work compensation, you should have partial ownership of it. This applies even if your name is not on the title.

One simple way to determine whether or not the account or property is yours to claim is to figure out when ownership took place. If your spouse acquired something before the two of you were married, it may not be yours. If he or she had an account before marriage, but more money has been added since you wed, you are a part-owner. This information is intended as education and should not be considered legal advice.