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How To Keep Your Pension In A Florida Divorce


Property division issues are some of the most heated in any Florida divorce. Some couples must divide significant assets, and those often include retirement accounts and pensions. After working your entire life and building up a nest egg, it is natural to want to keep it even after your marriage ends. While your pension, at least a portion of it, is likely considered marital property, there are ways you can hang onto it during the divorce process.

Florida is an Equitable Distribution State

Under Florida’s property division laws, marital property is divided fairly, although not necessarily equally, during a divorce. Marital property includes any assets or liabilities that were acquired by the couple during the marriage. Due to the fact that income and pensions earned during the marriage are considered marital property, a portion of your retirement savings is likely subject to division under the law. However, there are still ways you may be able to protect these assets.

Equal Equity

The simplest solution is when you and your spouse both have retirement savings that are of approximately equal value. You do not need to go after your spouse’s, and they will not need to go after yours. As such, you can each keep your own pension and move forward with dividing the rest of your marital assets.

Relinquishing Other Assets

If your spouse does not have a pension, or their retirement account is worth significantly less than yours, simply keeping your own accounts during divorce is not going to work. However, if you still want to keep your pension, you can try bargaining with other marital assets. For example, if your pension is worth approximately the same amount as the marital home, you and your spouse may agree that they will keep the home and you will keep the retirement savings.

When choosing this option, it is crucial that you consider the value of your pension. If it is substantial, you may end up bargaining away a great number of assets, including the family home, your vehicle, and more.

Assign Survivorship Benefits

If your spouse agrees to waiting some time before they can receive their benefits, you can propose assigning them survivorship benefits. With this option, you can still draw on the account and use it how you would like during your lifetime, but once you pass away, the remaining funds in the account are transferred to your spouse.

Our Family Lawyers in Orlando Can Advise You of Your Options

While it may not always seem like it, you have many options when going through a divorce. At Anderson & Ferrin, our knowledgeable Orlando family lawyers can advise you of what those are, and help you determine which one is right for your case. If you are considering divorce, call us today at 407-412-7041 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case review with one of our skilled attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.

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