Pensions can be an emotional safety net for people and something that is very personal to them. Many times, those who benefit from receiving a pension are people who have done the most challenging jobs, such as police officers, firefighters, teachers and military personnel. Because of this, pensions are coveted and can feel like a reward for stressful work while on the job. However, when it comes to divorce, that is not the case.
The hard truth is any pension or retirement benefits that were acquired during a marriage is considered marital property and can be divided up during a divorce.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about your pension when you go through a divorce:
Why is my spouse getting any part of the pension I earned?
You should think about your pension just like your savings or checking account. The money that was put into that account while you were married will be looked at as any other asset you accumulated during the marriage.
Will I automatically have to give up half my pension in the divorce?
Your spouse is only eligible for any contributions that were made during your marriage. There are many formulas to take into consideration that you will need to work with an attorney on.
Is there a way for me to keep my pension after my divorce?
Your pension can be negotiable as part of the normal asset divisions during your divorce. While in mediation, both parties may be engaged in give and take on different assets. There could be reasons your spouse may not be interested in your pension, most likely as a negotiating tool for an item they want that is of equal value.
Your financial security can be one of the biggest worries you will have while going through a divorce. A pension which you may have thought was there for you in the future, could now end up being a less satisfying payout. If you are an older adult who has accumulated a large pension, when it comes to divorce, your pension is just as much part of the divorce negotiations as anything else from your marriage.