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Can you keep your full 401(k) in your divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2021 | Divorce |

You spend years planning for your retirement in Nebraska, planning out everything from what you want to do during that time, where you hope to live, who you plan on spending your later life with, and how you plan on supporting yourself.

You anticipate that your divorce will greatly impact at least one of those elements, yet you may not know the extent to which it may also influence another. Your 401(k) account (a fund you likely anticipate being a significant source of income during your retirement) becomes subject to property division during your divorce proceedings. This may prompt you to question whether you can keep your full 401(k) in your divorce.

Giving up another marital asset

According to information shared by the 401(k) Help Center, retaining your full 401(k) during property division proceedings is a possibility. For that to happen, however, you need to convince your ex-spouse to relinquish their interest in it. How might you this? If you were to agree to give up your stake in another marital asset of comparable value in exchange, they may be more apt to accommodate your request.

Weighing the pros and cons

At first glance, this may seem like a small sacrifice in order to keep your retirement plans intact. Yet before committing to this course of action, you should first consider the potential disadvantages.

The court values retirement assets at their potential future (after years of anticipated growth from investment returns and earned interest). This could equate to you giving up more right now than you anticipate in order to keep your full 401(k). Thus, the number of years remaining until you retire should certainly factor into your decision.