Considering retirement accounts during divorce

Asset distribution is important to all Pennsylvania couples who decide to divorce. However, the process may be even more vital to divorcing baby boomers who are planning to retire soon. For many of these individuals, they have been building up their retirement accounts for some time.

According to the National Center for Family & Marriage, the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 has doubled between the years 1990 and 2014. For couples over age 65, the divorce rate has tripled during the same time period. Not surprisingly, older divorcees often fight over retirement accounts. A spouse might feel that they should not have to split up savings that they have accumulated for years. Spouses may also be afraid of having to start over with a retirement account this late in life when their earning capacity is limited.

Couples should understand that retirement accounts are generally split evenly. This is true even if one spouse contributed more to the savings.

In some cases, a divorcing spouse may feel tempted to trade interest in a retirement account for real estate. While one may have a sentimental attachment to a home, such a trade is not always a wise decision. Property can be very expensive to maintain and could even lose value. On the other hand, retirement accounts require no upkeep and generally build steady interest.

Spouses who are going through the process of divorce may decide to contact a family law attorney. The lawyer may discuss options on reaching an agreement regarding retirement accounts.

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