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Dividing Retirement Accounts in a Divorce

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Handling Complex Assets

When a couple files for divorce, one of the key issues they will have to deal with is how to divide their assets, including any retirement accounts. This process can be a bit complex, especially if there are multiple accounts or if one spouse is self-employed. In this blog, learn how to divide retirement accounts in a North Carolina divorce. We will cover the different options available to you and provide some tips on how to make the process as smooth as possible.

North Carolina Asset Division

In a North Carolina divorce, all marital property is subject to equitable distribution, meaning that the court will divide the couple's assets in a way that is fair but not necessarily equal. When it comes to retirement accounts, the court will consider several factors in order to make an equitable division.

Some of the factors the court will take into consideration include:

  • The length of the marriage

  • Each spouse's age and health

  • Each spouse's earning capacity

  • The couple's standard of living during the marriage

  • The contributions each spouse made to the acquisition of marital property, including retirement savings

The court will also look at whether either spouse has any non-marital property, which is property that was acquired prior to the marriage or after the date of separation. If one spouse has a significant amount of non-marital property, the court may offset that by giving the other spouse a larger share of the marital property.

When dividing retirement accounts in a North Carolina divorce, it is important to understand that there are different rules for each different type of account. For example, 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans are subject to federal law, which requires that they be divided according to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). On the other hand, pensions are subject to state law, which gives the court more discretion in how they are divided.

Working with a North Carolina Family Law Attorney

If you are preparing to go through a divorce and have questions about how your retirement accounts will be divided, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney. An attorney can help you understand the specific rules that apply to your situation and ensure that your rights are protected.

If you have any questions about dividing retirement assets or any other family law issue, please contact the team at Blood Law, PLLC. Our family law team is prepared to help you through whatever family law issue you may be facing.

Learn more about how we can help with your case or schedule a consultation by calling (704) 286-0570 or by visiting our website.