The financial aspects of a divorce can be extremely complicated and often confusing. Florida law, among other states, can be difficult to understand when determining how to divide financial aspects in a divorce. Retirement accounts, like other assets that qualify for marital property, are divisible in a Florida divorce.
Retirement benefits that a couple acquired after the marriage can be equally distributed, even if the account began before they wed. A marital asset qualifies as a benefit if it increased during the marriage. A 401k, for example, would likely be separate property if the spouse contributed funds before marriage. Any contributions after the marriage would make the 401k eligible for division of marital property.
Florida has a general rule that the court must divide assets based on equitable distribution. While it may sound like this division is made right down the middle, this is not always the case. The state's law mandates that the court make the division of property and financial assets just and fair, which does not always mean an equal division.
Is infidelity taken into consideration?
Florida does not take martial misconduct into consideration during the division of assets. Florida is a pure no-fault state and you cannot file for divorce on fault grounds. If one spouse ran the martial assets to the ground, let's say in gambling debt, the judge may grant the other spouse compensation. This compensation may be in the form of additional property because they had a right to the portion lost.
Funds are split without penalties
If you and your former spouse request a division of your retirement plan, there are no tax penalties associated with it. The Qualified Domestic Relations Order makes for a quick deposit.
Figuring out how your retirement assets will be divided in a divorce can be a difficult process. You may benefit from speaking with an attorney to ensure you are receiving what is fair to the both of you.