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What will happen to your pension during divorce?

There are several different factors to consider during a divorce. The division of assets is a strong consideration for both parties.

Thankfully, certain regulations help determine how parties will fare from the division process of the divorce. Regarding pension, there are a few important facts to know.

Handling of property

With Texas being a community property state, pension is handled as such. Therefore, in the eyes of the court, any pensions parties acquire during the marriage belong to both parties. However, it is important to note that pension payments before the marriage do not count as part of the community property. In addition, any interest payments paid on pension during the time of the marriage do count as community property.

Contributions to split

The courts consider several aspects when deciding how to split property during a divorce: 

  • Value of separate property
  • Earning capacity and education level of each spouse
  • Child custody
  • Length of the marriage
  • Contribution to dissolution

Each marriage is different, so a variety of additional factors may exist that contribute to the court's decision. In the end, the court works to make sure both spouses are able to adjust financially and live fairly equal lives to one another.

Qualified domestic relations order

The court details the asset division determination in a qualified domestic relations order. Within this order, the court provides the pension percentage split, as well as other asset divisions, between the two parties. The administrator of the pension plan must abide by the court decision, and may distribute the payment as one lump sum payment or in monthly installments. In cases where the party earning the pension is still working, the pension payments may not start until after the party retires.

This is a brief overview of the facts concerning pension division during divorce. To gain a full understanding of the possible effects to your pension plan, take some time to review the applicable laws and consult with a professional.

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