For as long as you have had a well-paid, professional job, you have made weekly contributions to your retirement account. You may even have an employer who matches what you contribute each year. You have probably always planned to spend retirement with your spouse, but you may now need to revisit those plans.
If you intend to file for divorce, then your living circumstances and your financial situation will change significantly. It can be hard to decide where to live or what standard of living to expect when you don’t know what will happen to your property.
Will you have to share your retirement savings with your ex?
Community property rules often require the division of retirement savings
If the courts decide that your retirement account is marital property, it will be subject to division in divorce proceedings. For some couples, a retirement account or a portion of its balance could be separate property.
Maybe you have a marital agreement with your spouse stating that your retirement account remains separate in the event of a divorce. You may have made tens of thousands of dollars worth of contributions to the account before you got married. However, in Nevada, the community property rules for your assets demand that you share what you contributed to the account during the marriage.
A judge might order you to split the actual account, or they could use the value of the marital portion of your retirement savings to justify other property division decisions.
You don’t have to wait in financial limbo when you file for divorce
Waiting months to see a judge and have them make a decision about your most valuable property isn’t an ideal situation. You and your ex can take control of your circumstances by cooperating. You can negotiate directly or through your attorney to reach a settlement. You could even commit to attending mediation together to sort out your disputes.
If you reach a mutual agreement about property division, you can file for an uncontested divorce instead of waiting for a judge to divide your property. Learning about how the courts split your assets will make you feel more confident as you consider the future after your marriage.