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What is going to happen to your retirement assets during divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2022 | Family Law And Divorce

When you go through a divorce, you understand this process will bring significant financial changes to your life. You may have concerns about how a divorce could possibly impact your long-term financial stability, including during your retirement years. The fair division of your retirement assets and long-term savings is critical, and it will be helpful to understand how you can fight for the best possible outcome.  

The division of marital property can be one of the most complex aspects a divorce. Retirement assets can be notoriously difficult to divide, and the process of distributing assets from certain types of accounts be complicated. Whether you will negotiate a settlement out of court or fight for your desired outcome in court, knowing how Michigan’s property division laws work will help you seek a final resolution that provides you security and stability long after your divorce is final. 

An equitable distribution state 

Michigan is an equitable distribution state, which means that the division of all marital property is based on whatever will be the most fair in that specific situation. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, and a court will take specific factors in to consideration when making final decisions regarding property division. Any accounts that are marital property, which likely includes some of your retirement accounts, are subject to equitable division during your divorce. 

Marital property generally includes anything that one bought, earned, collected, accumulated or purchased during his or her marriage. When it comes to your retirement accounts, you may be able to equitably share whatever was saved while you were married. However, you have the right to negotiate terms that make the most sense for your individual situation. For example, you may be willing to take a smaller portion of retirement savings in exchange for a larger portion of other types of marital assets.  

Your best post-divorce future 

The goal of any property division settlement you negotiate or specific outcome you fight for in court is the preservation of your post-divorce financial interests. A division of retirement savings could impact plans for your golden years, and while an adjustment may be necessary, it is possible to seek terms that allow you to have security and stability long-term. It may be beneficial to seek an understanding of how equitable distribution will affect you and what your divorce will mean for your lifestyle and expectations.