If you are a divorcing couple and you are reaching retirement age, retirement accounts could be some of the most valuable assets that you have. Therefore, before you take action in filing for a divorce, it is a good idea to take the time to understand how the law works in the state of Pennsylvania when it comes to dividing assets such as retirement accounts.
The state of Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. Equitable distribution means that a fair division of assets is worked toward based on the specific details of the case. Equitable distribution differs to community property laws that exist in other states and basically advocate a 50-50 split of all assets regardless of the circumstances.
What does equitable distribution mean for my retirement accounts?
Equitable distribution means that many factors will be weighed up before allocating the retirement account. This means that the length of the marriage will be a factor, as well as the income of each spouse and the amount that they worked. It will also be taken into account whether either spouse has any spousal support obligations from previous marriages.
Therefore, it is very likely that the person who the retirement account belongs to will be able to keep the majority of the asset. Whether the other spouse will have entitlement to a portion will depend on the length of the marriage as well as many other factors.
If you are considering filing for a divorce in the state of Pennsylvania, it is important to gain a picture of what asset division might look like in your situation.