Retirement Account Division

Our Portland Divorce Attorney Helps Spouses Divide Retirement Accounts Equitably

Photo of a financial document
In Oregon, marital property is subject to equitable distribution when a couple decides to divorce. This means each spouse should receive a “fair” share of the property. Working toward a “just and proper” division of property can be tricky, especially when retirement accounts are involved. People often feel the retirement benefits they have accumulated should be theirs and theirs alone. However, retirement and pension benefits earned during marriage are generally considered marital property, and as such, are subject to equitable distribution like any other marital asset.

When dividing retirement accounts in a divorce, a number of factors come into play. Portland divorce attorney Ronald Allen Johnston has been handling family law matters for more than 40 years, and he is dedicated to ensuring equitable distribution for his clients, including fair division of retirement accounts.

Determining What Portion Is Marital Property

Typically, only the retirement benefits earned during marriage count as marital property. Benefits earned prior to the marriage usually count as separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. Portland family lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston can determine what portion of your retirement is marital property and will help you fight to retain retirement benefits that qualify as separate, pre-marital property.

Valuation of Retirement Accounts

Retirement plan valuation depends on the type of account. For defined contribution plans, such as 401ks, the account balance determines the value, though not all of it is necessarily marital property. If the retirement plan predates the marriage, then the amount subject to equitable division is the increase in value during the marriage, calculated most simply by subtracting the balance on the date of marriage from the balance on the date of separation.

For defined benefit plans, such as pensions, determining value is a bit more complicated. Because these plans are payable in the future, accurate valuation usually involves using a formula that takes into account various factors, such as salary, years of employment and life expectancy, and is often best handled by an actuary or pension appraiser. Portland divorce lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston will work to ensure all retirement accounts belonging to you and your spouse are properly valued, so you can retain or receive your fair share.

Contact Us Today

If you are considering divorce, contact our firm today to learn about your rights and obligations. It is important to disclose all assets and liabilities during the discovery process, as you can be subject to court sanctions for failure to do so. Let Ronald Johnston  guide you through the entire divorce process, including valuation and disclosure of assets, so you can avoid making costly mistakes.

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