Hartley Law Office, LLC

Hartley Law Office, LLC

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Retirement plans can be major issues for older couples

One major issue that older couples who are going through a so-called gray divorce or legal separation may face involves retirement plans. Even when both spouses have had long-term careers, they may still be relying on each other's resources for retirement. Thus, a late-in-life divorce could be a fearful prospect in that, if not handled properly, the fallout could mean a senior has to choose between financial hardship and having to work late into life.

As a previous post discussed, in most cases, the spouses would be entitled to a share in each other's retirement plans as part of the property division that takes place after a divorce or separation. However, there are a number of important issues surrounding retirement plans like 401(k) plans and pensions, including pensions for military members and other government employees.

For one, putting a precise value on any retirement plan, particularly a pension, can be a difficult and contentious task. Evaluation may involve hiring an expert, and it almost inevitably requires a good understanding of Ohio family law. Another issue a Dayton resident may face is the question of whether he or she will be able to actually collect the proceeds from his or her spouse's retirement funds.

Unfortunately, many people are very reluctant to part with their retirement funds, even if it is only fair that they share them with their ex-spouse. Without some legal means of enforcing the division of these funds, a Dayton resident could find that all he or she has is a piece of paper that says they are entitled to their fair share of a retirement fund. Our law office is skilled both in the nuts and bolts of dividing retirement plans as well as making sure that a person entitled to a share in a retirement plan actually gets their proceeds.

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