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Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Your Retirement Savings During Divorce: What You Need to Know

Written by Amar Weisman » February 19, 2016 »

At the Law Offices of Amar Weisman, LLC, we leave no stone unturned to identify identify property during the divorce process. As a client, there are things you can do to help us help you. Whether you like it or not, retirement assets are marital property subject to equitable division under Maryland law.

What You Need to Know

There are a variety of retirement accounts that may be at issue during the divorce. Such accounts include:

  • pensions
  • profit-sharing accounts
  • retirement account
  • deferred compensation plans
  • IRA accounts
  • 401(k) accounts
  • 403(b) accounts
  • TSP, stock options
  • military plans
  • private defined benefit plans
  • FERS
  • survivor benefits, among others.

In Maryland, any of the above-mentioned plans and accounts can be deemed marital property – if they were acquired during the marriage. That means, if a spouse obtains the right to get retirement benefits under an employee pension plan – regardless of whether the employee is vested or not – that plan will count as marital property if it was obtained during the marriage.

When determining the value of retirement benefits, the court will, in its discretion, take a close look at the benefits. In Maryland, there are several options with regard to how the benefits can be valued. One way is to value the benefit as being equivalent to an employee’s contribution, plus any accrued interest.

The court might also choose to value the benefit as the “present value” of future benefits the employee expects to get after retirement. The court might even opt to value the benefit by determining the percentage to be paid to the receiving spouse from future retirement payments obtained by the employee spouse, to be paid “as, if and when received.” Which method is selected will greatly depend and vary based on the facts of the specific case.

What About Social Security?

If a divorce takes place after a couple has been married for at least 10 years, a spouse can receive retirement benefits based on his or her former spouse’s Social Security earnings record if the spouse is at least 62 years old and the former spouse is entitled to receive (or actually receiving) benefits. It is important to note, however, that if you ultimately get married again, you generally will not be able to receive such benefits from your former spouse – unless your new marriage ends.

If you would like to learn more about your rights and legal options with regard to your retirement accounts after the divorce, contact Amar Weisman right away to discuss the particulars of your case.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation With a Towson & Cockeysville Family Law Lawyer

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.