How Are Retirement Assets Divided In Divorce?

In most cases California divorce law is straightforward about retirement assets in property division. Each spouse is entitled to half of all monies set aside by the parties during the time they were married and living together. However, splitting retirement funds can be legally and mathematically complicated.

The Law Offices of Thomas M. Polinger provides sophisticated advocacy for dividing what is often a divorcing couple's largest asset. We represent men and women throughout the South Bay area and Los Angeles County in arriving at a fair appraisal and distribution of retirement assets. Arrange a consultation at 310-697-8868.

Dividing The Nest Egg In A California Divorce

There are generally two categories of retirement assets: defined benefit plans, such as government employee, military or corporate pensions (traditional pensions), and deferred compensation/retirement savings plans such as 401(k), IRA and other qualified savings plans.

The total retirement assets are divided under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which legally defines the portion each spouse is entitled to. Our principal attorney, Thomas Polinger, works with retirement plan administrators and other specialists to draft or review the QDRO to ensure a fair division and to protect rights such as survivors' benefits.

The allocation of retirement assets is not tied to which spouse earned the pension or contributed through payroll deductions. It is based on the period of marriage. In general:

  • Retirement funds accumulated during marriage are community property
  • Contributions and appreciated value prior to marriage and after separation are separate property

Put Our Experience To Work For You

Mr. Polinger has practiced in divorce law for 35 years. He provides solid analysis, courtroom muscle, and a knack for creative bargaining in the division of retirement benefits and other marital property.

Call our Hermosa Beach office at 310-697-8868 or contact us online to arrange a consultation.