How can you keep your entire 401k?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2019 | Divorce, Firm News |

You put a great amount of individual effort into your employment in Hernando County; why, then, is your ex-spouse entitled to a portion of the benefits that come from that effort (such as your 401k)? First, it should be remembered that the money that funds your 401k account comes from your employment income, of which any earned during your marriage is considered a marital asset. Thus, it should come as little surprise then that your 401k is also considered a shared asset. Yet your ex-spouse’s interest in it is limited to only those contributions made during your marriage. 

While a number of methods exist to share their portion with them without incurring any significant tax penalties, you may be wondering if there is a way for you to keep the full amount of your 401k account. One way would be to stipulate in a prenuptial agreement that whatever is paid into an existing 401k during your marriage remains separate property. If you failed to draft a prenuptial agreement with your spouse (or to include your 401k in it), your right to its full value would be equally as enforceable if you stipulated that in a postnuptial agreement or modification. 

If neither of those choices is an option for you, the 401k Help Center suggests bargaining with your ex-spouse the keep everything in your 401k. This would likely require you to concede your claim of ownership over a marital asset of similar value to your ex-spouse. However, the potential for additional income coming from earned interest on your 401k account funds may ultimately make such a decision worth it.