How does divorce affect my retirement?

Family Law specialists with over 59 years of experience.

Divorce can dramatically affect a person’s retirement, especially when they have built up considerable retirement assets during the marriage. Some of our clients realize they will not be able to retire when they had expected to, so they must continue working.

A common scenario is this: one spouse has earned much more during marriage and therefore has socked away much more income in a pension or different retirement accounts, such as a:

  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Simple IRA
  • Employer-sponsored 401(k) or 403(b)
  • Solo 401(k)

This person is expecting access to all of their retirement benefits that they have worked for and invested. Their spouse probably has not invested nearly enough.

However, retirement assets can be marital property which must be divided “equitably” during a divorce. Equitable division is not necessarily 50/50. Instead, they must be divided fairly, though in many cases that will mean a 50/50 split.

Regardless of how the assets are divided, the true shock is that our client was expecting to receive 100% of his or her retirement assets only to now face the prospects of receiving much less. In some situations this might mean you must delay retirement.

There are steps you can take to protect your retirement assets. For example, if your spouse has equivalent retirement assets saved, you might both agree to keep your respective accounts after divorce. If your spouse has few retirement assets, you might agree to let him or her take more marital property, such as the family home. All marital property is put into a pot and divided, so it isn’t a foregone conclusion that your ex can take a portion of your retirement account or pension.

Client Reviews

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I was in a terrible custody dispute with my ex. I was very upset and afraid of my ex. Rodd listened to everything I said and remembered everything I said. He was aggressive in court and used the information I gave him very well. We won the case and my ex has backed off.


I wanted an easy divorce from my wife. She wanted a fight. Rodd and I discussed fair terms for a dissolution. Because he was pro active and stayed on top of the case, my wife and I finally reached an agreement and had a dissolution. I highly recommend Rodd.


I hired Linda Lawrence because I have a business and I wanted to protect it in my divorce. Linda is top notch and knows about business finance and assets. I was able to keep my business and not have to pay my wife anything from it. Hire her.


I hired Linda Lawrence because I needed an aggressive attorney. Linda was able to stand up against the other attorney and was very aggressive in court. It was an expensive divorce case, but that was because the other attorney was very aggressive and Linda was very thorough. I had great results in my case and highly recommend Linda.


Our Practice Areas

Family Law

Attorneys for Divorce, Child Custody & More At the Lawrence Law Office, we are committed to helping families in conflict find creative solutions that focus on addressing their goals and...


Columbus & Delaware, OH Divorce Lawyers In Ohio, there is more than one way to separate from your partner and dissolve your marriage. A divorce is typically a contested proceeding, with each side...

Contempt and
Enforcement and
Post divorce

When working through your divorce with an Ohio family law attorney, chances are your divorce agreement made allowances for child support. spousal support or

Business owner

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

Child Custody

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

High Asset
Divorce Cases

Helping With Child Custody, Visitation & Support Updates Or Modifications Sometimes circumstances substantially change after a divorce and require parents to revisit an existing...


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