Hartley Law Office, LLC

Hartley Law Office, LLC

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Review of family law issues with retirement plans

Many people in the Dayton area have retirement plans. Some have wealth stored in 401(k)s or other self-contribution plans, which have become more and more common in the private sector over the recent decades. However, employees in the area may also be entitled to a pension. Military members frequently receive pensions after their careers, and others in the civil service and other government jobs, as well as a handful of employees in private business, may also draw pensions.

Just a part of good financial housekeeping, even a happily married Ohioan will want to understand the basics of how to put a value on a pension. Pensions are quite a bit tougher to evaluate since they are a promise of an income stream at a future date. There are therefore a number of factors one must consider in order to estimate the lump sum present value of a pension.

This usually will require the help of a financial expert and, in the case of a divorce or separation, a legal professional who understands the nuances of property division. While obviously the value of a pension can vary from case to case, many people may be quite surprised to learn that their retirement pension is worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

But, as is the case with other property, a judge does not necessarily have to divide this amount evenly between spouses, as the goal of a court is to divide property fairly, not strictly 50-50. For instance, the court may find it relevant that one spouse acquired considerable retirement savings prior to marriage. Other legal arguments may be available to someone trying to protect his or her pension.

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