What do you know about dividing a 401(k) in divorce?

Going through a divorce will change your life in many ways. As the process gets up and running, it won't be long before you're focusing a good amount of time on property division.

While many couples focus primarily on assets such as the family home and vehicles, there is never a good time to overlook the importance of a 401(k) plan.

Here are some of the many things you need to know about dividing a 401(k) in divorce:

-- You need a court order if you want to divide assets in a 401(k). This isn't something you can do on your own.

-- State laws will come into play. Every state has its own laws on how retirement assets are split during divorce.

-- There is more than one distribution option. If you are receiving money from a 401(k) after a divorce, there are many things you can do with the funds. For example, you can rollover the assets into your own retirement plan.

-- Work it out on your own. Although there are laws in place, you still have the right to work directly with your spouse to determine who will get what.

Many assets will come into play during a divorce. Don't overlook the importance of getting what is yours in regards to retirement assets.

If you have any questions or concerns about a 401(k) plan, it's best to address these as soon as possible. Waiting around will only add more stress to the divorce process, and that is not something you need during this time in your life.

Source: Smart Asset, "4 Things to Know About Splitting up a 401(k) in a Divorce," Rebecca Lake, accessed May 30, 2017

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