Call To Find Your Way Forward 203-583-8256

The Law Offices of James A. Cuddy, LLC

Call To Find Your Way Forward 203-583-8256

Call To Find Your Way Forward 203-583-8256

Direct, Honest And Fair Family Law Solutions

Why a spouse might claim retirement account assets in divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Divorce

Marriage is a journey that couples often fill with experiences they share. However, when it comes to divorce in Connecticut, the division of assets, including retirement accounts, becomes an important aspect.

Connecticut is an equitable distribution state, meaning the fair, if not necessarily equal, division of marital property. In this context, retirement accounts can be subject to division. For various reasons, your spouse might have a claim to a portion of these assets.

1. Marital property laws

Connecticut has 2.9 divorces per 1,000 people and considers all assets acquired during the marriage as marital property, regardless of which spouse earned or contributed to them. Retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, pensions and IRAs, often fall into this category. This principle aims to ensure that both spouses receive a fair share of the economic contributions made throughout the union.

2. Contribution to the marriage

The court takes into account the contributions each spouse made to the marriage. Even if one spouse directly contributed to a retirement account through employment, the court may recognize the non-working spouse’s contributions, such as homemaking and child care. This recognition often leads to a more balanced distribution of assets, including retirement accounts, to acknowledge the joint effort that went into building the marital estate.

3. Financial needs of each spouse

Another factor in the division of retirement assets is the financial needs of each spouse post-divorce. The court considers factors such as earning capacity, health and age. If one spouse financially depends on retirement assets, the court may allocate a larger portion to that spouse to ensure their financial stability in the future.

4. Length of the marriage

The duration of the marriage plays a role in the division of retirement accounts. Longer marriages generally lead to a more even distribution of assets. If a couple’s marriage lasted for a significant period, the court may divide retirement accounts in a manner that provides for the needs of both spouses, recognizing the long-term interdependence that developed over the years.

These considerations underscore the complexities involved in asset division and the need for a comprehensive evaluation of each spouse’s role in the marriage and their financial needs post-divorce.