In Florida, the court will divide your marital property equitably between you and your spouse. Therefore, your pension, the amount you contributed or saved while married, is subject to division during divorce. But, here are four things that you can do to prevent or reduce the amount the court would give to your ex.
1. Understand the rules around property division in Florida
As mentioned, Florida is an equitable distribution state. Equitable is another term for fair. So if the court sees that it is reasonable to give your soon-to-be-ex half of your pension and other marital assets, it will do so. Likewise, they can give them 10% or 40%, depending on your unique circumstances.
If you had a nuptial agreement dictating how you would handle your pensions upon divorce, the court might consider it. If not, your soon-to-be-ex should make a request with the court for a share of your pension by filing a document known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).
2. Keep good records
You should keep track of how much money you have contributed to your pension over the years, investments made using that money, and the key elements that govern how it works. This information will be critical during the division process.
3. Offer an alternative
If you don’t want the court to split your pension, offer your spouse something else in return that is of similar value as their share of your pension. For example, you can use the funds from your separate property to buy them a life insurance policy. Remember, your agreement must be official.
4. Consider working with a divorce attorney and other financial experts
Part of protecting your pension is to ensure you don’t lose much of it during division. There are tax implications if you don’t approach this matter carefully. Additionally, you have rights you need to protect. Sometimes, the best way to do this is by consulting with professionals.
Your pension is a valuable marital asset. Approach its division carefully during your divorce.