Oklahoma couples who decide to divorce often face long-term financial consequences that far outstrip the emotional and practical changes that accompany a separation. One of the most significant changes that can come with the end of a marriage is the division of retirement funds that have been accumulated over years. The aftermath of divorce can leave both partners with significantly fewer assets, especially as it costs more to fund two single retirements than one as a married couple. As a result, many people work intensively to save and rebuild their retirement accounts after divorce. Unfortunately, this is often hindered by the complexities created by mandatory caps on annual contributions to qualified retirement plans.
For many, the division of retirement funds can come as a particular shock. While other major assets, like a house or bank account, are held jointly, retirement funds are generally in one individual’s name and accumulated at one person’s place of work. In addition, the financial aspects can be significant. In some cases, a retirement fund may be split in half or some other division may be chosen, depending on the couple’s history and agreements. In some cases, each person may simply leave the marriage with the retirement account that’s in his or her own name.
A divorce can have lingering financial effects, even years later. On average, households that have gone through a divorce have 30 percent lower net worth than those that have not. Divorced people are also 7 percent more likely to be unable to get through retirement on the basis of their savings.
When a couple has been married for many years, the divorce can be even more complex, especially for high-earning people who have accumulated significant wealth. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to protect key assets and achieve a fair settlement in terms of property division and spousal support.