Division of Pensions & Retirement Accounts

Outside of a home or a family-owned business, a couple's retirement accounts are often their largest asset. In a divorce, it is important that you receive your fair share of all marital property, including retirement savings.

Before you can negotiate or litigate a fair property settlement, you need to know the value of any 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts.

Since 1990, Deborah Zitomer Esquire, LLC, has worked with highly qualified accountants and other financial experts to properly value retirement funds for individuals facing divorce. Attorney Zitomer works hard to ensure that clients have the information they need to make sound decisions regarding the division of marital property and other complex divorce matters.

Splitting Up Retirement Savings In A Divorce

A common misconception is that if property is in one spouse's name, then the other spouse has no rights to that property. In the absence of a premarital agreement, the general rule in Pennsylvania is that all property acquired during the marriage — including 401(k) and IRA accounts — is marital property. The fact that a retirement account is in only in one spouse's name will not prevent the account's assets from being divided in a divorce.

With nearly 30 years of divorce experienced, we help clients with the correct valuation and fair division of the following:

  • Pension plans, including Keogh pension plans, SEP plans, state pensions, and private pensions
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), including traditional and Roth IRAs
  • 401(k) accounts
  • Other retirement savings and investments

There are several approaches to dividing 401(k), IRAs, pensions and other retirement savings in a divorce. A spouse can be awarded other property (home, cash, car, etc) equal to his or her share of the retirement savings kept by the other spouse, or the account can be split between the spouses. Usually, the family court must order a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) outlining how the account is to be split between the spouses.

It is important that you also consider the tax implications related to the division of any 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts.

To schedule a consultation with attorney Deborah Zitomer, call 610-879-8473 or send us an inquiry via our online contact form.