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If I Get a Divorce, What Happens to My Retirement Savings?

Going through a divorce can be difficult, especially when there are uncertainties regarding how things like finances, property, and retirement savings will be divided. Often, couples question how a divorce will impact their retirement savings and worry about providing for their future. At Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd., we’re here to help couples divorcing in Illinois protect their future and ensure they don’t lose what’s rightfully theirs. 

Understanding Marital vs. Non-Marital Property

To determine the proper way to divide retirement savings, the court will dictate if the savings is marital or nonmarital property. While marital property is anything that was obtained during the marriage by either spouse, nonmarital property is anything obtained before the marriage’s start. For example, if a couple purchased a home together after marriage, the home would be considered marital property. If a retirement savings plan begins after the marriage, it is deemed marital property. Additionally, if a spouse started a plan before the marriage but continues to pay into the savings, that money can be considered marital property. Distinguishing between marital and nonmarital property helps a court determine which spouse should be entitled to certain funds, including retirement savings, regardless of whose name is on the account. 

How Will My Retirement Savings Be Divided?

Nonmarital retirement savings will be designated to the individual who acquired the funds. However, Illinois considers marital property to be the rights of both spouses, though this doesn’t mean they will evenly split the funds. Illinois is considered an equitable distribution state, which means the court will split retirement funds in a way that’s fair to the couple but not necessarily equal. 

Couples can request how they’d like their funds to be split. Often, couples request to separate their retirement savings, especially if the plans are roughly equal in value and each spouse has made their own payments to the plan. Additionally, if an individual doesn’t wish to split their savings, they can give up other assets that would be equivalent in value. The court will consider what part of the savings is marital property, how much each spouse has contributed to the account, and the financial needs of each spouse in determining division. They will then decide how much each spouse is entitled to give the other or whether they can keep their own accounts. 

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

An attorney at Demetrios N. Dalmares & Associates, Ltd. can help explain your rights during divorce proceedings and ensure that you are financially secure post-divorce. Our team can help you distinguish between your marital and nonmarital property and address any concerns you may have in court. Additionally, we will ensure that your savings are protected during divorce proceedings. 

Contact a Trusted Illinois Attorney Today

Contact our team today if you have questions about your retirement savings during divorce proceedings. We look forward to hearing from you soon. 


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