Putting Our Community First
serving St. Cloud, Albany and surrounding areas

Division of retirement accounts during a divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 4, 2023 | Divorce & Separation |

KFAN reported the divorce rate in Minnesota at 10.2% in 2023. Residents going through the process may realize one of the toughest aspects is coming to a property division agreement.

Part of this is figuring out how to handle retirement accounts. Their division can be a complex and sensitive matter, but there are options to make the process easier.

Retirement accounts valuation

Determining the value of retirement accounts at the time of divorce is an important step. This value may include both contributions made during the marriage and any appreciation or growth on those contributions. Accurate valuation is necessary for a fair division.

Tax implications

It is essential to be aware of the tax implications associated with dividing retirement accounts. Some accounts may require taxes or penalties when withdrawing funds, while others may offer more tax-efficient options. Understanding these tax consequences is important for making informed decisions during the divorce process.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order

A QDRO is a legal document that outlines the division of retirement benefits between spouses. It can ensure that the division complies with IRS regulations and minimize taxes and penalties.

Different retirement account division

Each type of retirement account may require different methods for division. A 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan often requires a QDRO to specify the amount or percentage that will go to the non-owning spouse.

You can split IRAs through a transfer incident to divorce without incurring early withdrawal penalties. You can roll the funds over into a separate IRA in the name of the non-owning spouse.

Pensions can be more complex to divide. They may involve the use of a QDRO or a shared interest approach, where the non-owning spouse receives a portion of the pension payments when the owning spouse begins receiving benefits.

Dividing retirement accounts during a divorce is a multifaceted process. By approaching the task thoughtfully and being aware of the implications, you can navigate this aspect of divorce more smoothly and secure your financial future.