Fighting to keep your full 401(k) in your divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2020 | family law |

Your divorce in Illinois will no doubt have a dramatic impact on your retirement plans. You may believe the limitation of that impact will be on who you spend that period of your life with, yet as many of those we work with here at the Frankfort Law Group find themselves shocked to discover, the planned source of your retirement funds might experience drastic changes as well.

This includes your 401(k), due to the contributions made to that account during your marriage being subject to property division. You may worry that having to divide up your 401(k) will significantly alter your current plan for retirement. Thus, you may wonder whether it is possible to retain the full value of that fund in your divorce.

The cost of keeping your entire 401(k)

According to the 401(k) Help Center, if you want to retain your full 401(k) during property division proceedings, you likely will need to relinquish your claim to another marital asset of comparable value. It is only in doing this that you may be able to convince your ex-spouse to give up their stake in your 401(k) account contributions.

Is it worth it?

You may think this to be an easy decision (given your concerns about your future in your retirement). Yet one important point to consider is the fact that in such a scenario, the court values the amount that you ask your ex-spouse to relinquish at its potential future value. That is potentially after years of growth through earned interest and investment returns. Thus, while you might think you understand exactly what their current portion of your 401(k) is, ultimately the court may determine its value to be quite larger.

You can find more information on this and other elements of property division throughout our site.