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Divorce FAQ

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How Are Retirement Accounts Divided?

Understanding How Money Is Split Between Divorce Parties

Retirement accounts are usually shared by both parties and is divisible by both spouses. Although these accounts should be split equitably, the judge takes into consideration a list of factors, which you can find in a worksheet on our website under “Who Gets What?” Our attorneys are familiar with the formulas used to divide requirement accounts and can help make sure you acquire what you are owed.

How are retirement accounts divided? The reality is that they belong to both of you because all of it is thrown into the basket and all of it is divisible when you divide marital property.

In Massachusetts, property division is done equitably. That doesn’t necessarily mean equally. You might want to assume 50/50 as a starting point, but judges apply a list of factors. You’ll see it on our website on a worksheet that’s called “Who Gets What?” and they apply these factors and then decide how to split the marital estate. When it comes to retirement accounts, the courts will sign off on a QDRO. That’s the Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which prevents the spouses from any tax ramifications as long as they don’t go and spend the money.

For pensions, you divide the number of months the pensioner was employed during the marriage and prior to filing by the total of credit earned toward the pension as of the date benefits begin, times a half--that’s going to get you the alternate payee’s portion.

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