If you’re considering a divorce, it’s important to understand the financial impacts of this difficult life change. Most couples have financial investments that may have existed before the marriage and have increased over time. There are specific steps for valuing and dividing those accounts based on when they were created, when the marriage occurred, and what the current value is.
When it comes to pensions, stock options, and other defined benefits, it can get tricky. “In Illinois, there first needs to be a determination as to whether or not these types of accounts are marital or non-marital property,” explained Samuel J. Diamond, a divorce attorney with Diamond Divorce Law. “Non-marital is property that existed before the marriage and is not subject to division. Marital property is created or earned after the date of the marriage and is subject to division by the court.”
With a pension, a value will be determined as of the date of the marriage, and that portion of the pension is the owner’s non-marital property. It will be valued, along with the value of the pension after the date of the marriage. Unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties, the portion of the pension earned after the date of the marriage is marital property and subject to division by the court. According to Diamond, in Illinois, the division by the court is equitable, which means it doesn’t necessarily have to be equal.
“When dividing up the marital portion of a pension, you can let your spouse receive their portion of the benefit when it’s available, which is usually upon retirement,” added Diamond. “Another option is to have it valued and buy them out.”
Diamond Divorce Law attorneys frequently deal with these financial issues and know how to handle them. If you’re wondering about your specific situation and want to make sure you keep your fair share of your nest egg, a qualified attorney at Diamond Divorce Law will work with you; you don’t have to go through it alone. For more information, please contact:
Samuel J. Diamond, J.D.
Diamond Divorce Law
(a division of Diamond Legal P.C.)