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Division of Retirement Funds

Get Help from a Grand Rapids Divorce Attorney for Management of Retirement Funds During a Divorce

The decision to seek a divorce is often a complicated one that can have a significant impact on both the spouses involved and their children. It also often raises a number of legal questions related to how any children will be raised and cared for and how the family home and other property will be divided.  That includes questions about what to do with an increasingly important asset for families in Michigan and elsewhere around the country: retirement savings and investment accounts. When you contact a Grand Rapids divorce attorney from our firm, you get experienced representation for this seemingly complicated issue. 

At Kraayeveld Law, our Grand Rapids divorce lawyers help people untangle their marriages and resolve a wide range of related legal issues.  We understand the pain and stress that can come with getting divorced, and we work with our clients to determine what approach to take in their case.  Sometimes our clients want to and it is best to to streamline the divorce process by fostering collaboration and pursuing alternatives to long, costly and exhausting courtroom battles; sometimes, we need to take an immediate, aggressive approach to protect our client’s family, assets and future well being

Our attorneys combine decades of legal experience to guide the people that we represent through the family law system with personal attention and understanding.  We take the time to explore our clients’ unique individual situations and to craft a strategy that best meets their needs.  Do not just take out word for it: Our client reviews speak for themselves.

Property Division

Michigan law generally classifies property in divorce cases in two separate categories, which determine whether the property will be divided among the spouses when they go their separate ways.

Marital property generally refers to any assets that one or both spouses obtain during the course of the marriage.  If a couple buys a house after getting married, for example, it is likely to be considered martial property.  The same goes for income earned during the marriage. State law makes a limited exception for property that one spouse gains during the marriage via inheritance or as a gift, so long as the spouse keeps that property separate.

Marital assets are required to be divided fairly in the event of a divorce. Our Grand Rapids divorce attorneys are well aware that such division does not necessarily mean an “even split.”  Instead, courts look at a number of factors to determine how assets should be divided.  That includes each spouse’s age, health and financial situation, as well as their individual earning capacities and conduct during the marriage, among other factors.

Separate property is any asset that one spouse obtains before the marriage, property that was gifted to a party during the marriage and kept separate or sometimes money that was awarded to a party for an injury and kept separate.  These assets generally stay with the same spouse following a divorce. In some cases, however, a court may require divorcing spouses to split any increase in the value of a separate asset (like a house) that occurred during the marriage, especially in long-term marriages or where the other spouse contributed to the property or has a need for the property.

Retirement Issues

Pension benefits and retirement accounts like 401(k)s and 403(b)s are considered property for divorce purposes, but courts often grapple with complicated questions about how to handle them.  Whether these assets are considered separate or marital property and how they are divided often depends largely on the specific factual circumstances.

The portion of a pension earned during the course of a marriage is typically considered marital property.  There are a number of ways to calculate the value of a pension, however.  That is why it is critical to consult an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that the value is accurately calculated and property is fairly divided.

Similarly, money contributed to a retirement savings account—and any increase in the value of the investments—during a marriage are also subject to division among the spouses in the event of a divorce.

In cases where both spouses are working and have their own separate retirement savings, they may be allowed to keep those savings separate.  In other cases, a court may order one spouse to pay the other his or her interest in the retirement account as an offset.  That can happen either at the time of the divorce or as pension benefits start coming in.

How A Grand Rapids Divorce Attorney from Kraayeveld Law Can Help You

At Kraayeveld Law, our Grand Rapids divorce lawyers understand how important retirement savings are to people in planning for their futures.  That is why we work proactively to ensure that property is fairly divided when a client gets divorced.

If you are seeking a divorce or dealing with related issues like property division, our firm can help.  We have decades of experience handling these matters and a long track record of success for the people that we represent.

We are conveniently located at 300 State Street SE in Grand Rapids.  Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids divorce attorney about your situation.