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Can you split a retirement plan following a divorce?

If you and your spouse are currently separating and going through the process of divorce in Kentucky, you may be faced with a string of important decisions to make regarding your future. A lot of these decisions must be carefully made to prevent compromising your financial stability. One of the things you may need to split with your ex-spouse is your retirement plan or benefits. While this may sound complicated, if you are proactive and begin the process of splitting benefits relatively quickly, you may be able to avoid a lot of unnecessary drama and stress. 

According to the Internal Revenue Service, if your retirement benefits are split between you and your ex, one of two things may happen; either the benefits will be available immediately to use, or they will be untouchable until a future date. Determining which outcome you will have will depend on the type of retirement benefits you have and your employer's contingencies they have put in place. It is also important to note that while you may only be required to give up a portion of your benefits, in some extreme cases, you may be asked to give all of your benefits to your ex-spouse. 

Should you wish to change the names of the beneficiaries on your retirement plan, you should do the following:

  • Work with your employer's HR department to modify the names on official documents.
  • Complete all required documents to show the change was made by you and is approved by the appropriate parties.
  • Submit completed documents to your employer's HR department. You may also be asked to include your divorce decree to verify that your claim is true.

The information in this article is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.  

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