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Dividing Retirement Plans in a Florida Divorce


A fundamental part of many divorces consists of dividing all the marital property that both spouses accumulated during the course of the marriage. This often includes a house, cars, jewelry, savings accounts, and many other kinds of personal property. Depending on the length of the marriage, one of the largest assets may be retirement accounts and other retirement benefits.

In a majority of divorces, both retirement accounts and pensions are divided between the spouses during the divorce. Florida is an equitable distribution state; however, courts are still required to divide the marital property just and fairly, which is not always equally. 

In Florida divorces, a majority of retirement plans and accounts accumulated during the course of the marriage are divided, because they are considered the property of both spouses. Nevertheless, the total value of a specific retirement account or pension fund is not automatically considered marital property or subject to be split. Often retirement accounts were started prior to the marriage and then continued during its course. In such a case, the percentage to be divided is calculated based on the amount contributed during the marriage. Courts employ several different methods to calculate the specific amount that was earned during the marriage. 

Factors Used to Divide Marital Property

The following factors are commonly used to determine how marital property, such as pension plans and retirement benefits, should be divided:

  • The overall length of the marriage;
  • The complete monetary situation for each spouse;
  • Occupation of both spouses;
  • Prior marriages of both spouses;
  • The age and overall health of both spouses;
  • The sources of income of the spouses;
  • The amount of income of each spouse;
  • Employability of both spouses;
  • Each spouse’s contributions, which includes increasing marital or nonmarital assets and property, during the marriage; and
  • Both spouses’ combined total debt and liabilities.

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is used to divide retirement accounts and plans. It establishes an ex-spouse’s right to take a percentage of a retirement account’s benefits or balance and instructs the administrator of the retirement plan to make the payments.

Common retirement benefits often include:

  • Traditional retirement accounts, such as IRA and Roth IRA accounts, 401k plans, and annuities;
  • Savings accounts;
  • Defined benefit plans;
  • Defined-contribution plans;
  • Government pensions; and
  • Military retirement benefits

Let Us Help You with Your Case 

The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee can assist you in determining which retirement accounts are subject to division in your divorce. Attorney Steve W. Marsee will do everything in his power to make sure you are able to keep as much of your retirement accounts as possible. 

Our Orlando divorce attorneys are here to help you during this stressful process, obtain a divorce. We genuinely care about helping you achieve your divorce objectives and all of protecting your interests. Contact us online or call today at 407-521-7171 to discuss your retirement accounts and pension plans in more detail.




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