Baby Boomers: Protecting Retirement Assets during Divorce

Generally divorce rates are dropping. However, a recent Fox News report found that divorce rates among baby boomers have doubled over time. Divorce marks the end of both an emotional relationship and a financial partnership. As a result, many baby boomer divorce settlements are currently focused on assets related to retirement asset planning.

When the financial partnership created during marriage dissolves, all assets are evaluated. This includes retirement assets. A retirement education guide from Prudential outlines which retirement assets one should keep in mind during negotiations:

  • Pension plan
  • 401(k)
  • 403(b)
  • 457

· Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

These are often some of the largest assets in divorce proceedings, and are generally divided. As a result, it is important to evaluate the most current documentation as well as any information from plans that may exist with previous employers.

The process does not end once details of the division are determined. If there is a defined benefit pension plan, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required to ensure each spouse receives their portion of the pension. This court order may also be needed for a 401(k), if one is included in the negotiated settlement or divorce decree.

Divorce is a difficult and trying time. As a result, it is important to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney in order to ensure a financially stable future from the end of your marriage through retirement.