How Are Retirement Plans Divided in Arizona?

Money MazeDivorce raises a variety of financial concerns and worries. Not only are you concerned about how you will be affected next month and next year, but you may be thinking about how the divorce is going to impact your retirement plans. You may assume that retirement plans in your name are yours alone and those in your spouse’s name belong to him or her but this is not necessarily the case.

Any asset, including retirement plans, that is obtained during marriage in Arizona is community property, belonging equally to both spouses, regardless of whose name is actually on the asset. A retirement account that existed prior to marriage is more complicated. The part of the account that accrued during marriage is considered a community asset.

While each pension or retirement asset that is created or accrued during marriage is a community asset, this does not mean that each account will be split down the middle. It is important that you consult with your divorce attorney and tax consultant about these accounts since dividing them all can be very expensive and complex. Instead, your attorney might recommend you look at your total marital assets and divide them in a way that allows you each to have half of the total value of all the assets, without splitting every single item in half. It might make sense for you each to keep your own retirement accounts if they are roughly equal, or for one spouse to keep a retirement account while the other spouse takes another asset in compensation.

When you are facing a divorce with retirement asset, you need an attorney who can clearly advise you about how best to organize your division of assets. The skilled attorneys at the Sampair Group are available to meet with you in the Phoenix, Mesa, and Glendale areas of Arizona to discuss your case. Call us today for a convenient appointment.