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Could you retain full ownership of your pension in a divorce?

New York couples heading into the divorce process are likely preparing themselves to deal with a tough emotional and financial process. Apart from dealing with issues like who gets the house and who gets custody of the children, you also want to consider your pension. Your pension plan is a necessary part of your financial future, so you want to ensure that you’re looking out for its best interest in your divorce proceedings.

Separating pre- and post-marital contributions

The division of marital property is only for assets that are actually considered marital and not separate property. When it comes to your pension, you’ll need to sort out what is separate and what is marital. Separate pension funds are those that were contributed to your pension prior to the date that you got married. Any contributions made after being married are considered post-marital contributions and fall in the category of marital property.

Consider offering alternative assets

Once you know what the value of your post-marital pension contributions is, you can divide that number in half to get what your spouse will likely receive in the divorce. If you would like to keep your pension fully intact throughout the divorce, it’s a good idea to think about offering your spouse another asset or multiple assets that equal the value of their stake in your pension. For example, if their stake in your pension is worth $25,000, you may want to offer them the vehicle that was awarded to you, which has a value of $25,000.

As you go through the entire list of all your marital property, you’ll need to think about what your desired outcome is for the divorce. If you would like to keep your pension account intact, you may want to consider offering your spouse assets that are of the same value as their stake in your pension.