Protecting Your Pension in a Divorce

Getting divorced can be a complicated process. During such an emotional time, it may be hard to think about how to divide your property and move forward. However, it is essential to understand your rights and obligations concerning your assets—including your pension.

An experienced family law attorney can provide crucial guidance and answer your questions about protecting your pension in a divorce. Call Moskowitz Law Group today to learn more.

What Is a Pension and Why Is It Important?

A pension is a retirement benefit offered by some employers to their retired employees. It is a fund created by the employer or group of employers that workers may use to obtain payments support themselves after retirement. Over time, pensions have fallen in popularity due to their cost and have been replaced by other benefits such as 401(k)s and retirement savings plans. Today, pension plans are provided almost exclusively for employees of public entities such as public school teachers and police officers or members of trade unions. However, many people still have pensions from before they got married.

There are two types of pensions available to employees in New Jersey: the defined contribution plan and the defined benefit plan. The defined contribution plan creates an investment account that grows throughout an employee’s working years. The balance will only be available to the worker upon retirement. Alternatively, a defined benefit plan guarantees a fixed monthly payment from the pension fund for the rest of your life upon retirement.

Keeping Your Pension Safe

During a divorce, your pension may affect how a court chooses to divide your assets. Having a family law attorney on your side during this process can help you ensure your benefits and rights are protected. There are several factors a judge may consider, depending on the terms of your divorce, any existing marital agreements, and the nature of your pension.

First, some pensions may offer survivor’s benefit, meaning that if the employee were to pass away, their spouse could continue to receive these pension benefits. If this is the case, the court may decide that the non-working spouse is still entitled to a portion of these funds following a divorce. Additionally, monthly benefits may be divided between spouses if the court deems it just and equitable. In other circumstances, a court could retain, waive, or transfer survivor’s benefits from a spouse after a divorce. A skilled divorce lawyer can explain how pension division works in more detail and provide invaluable legal assistance.

Talk To a Divorce Attorney About Protecting Your Pension

During a divorce, determining an acceptable division of assets may quickly become overwhelming. If you are looking to protect your pension in a divorce, a family law attorney can help. Contact The Moskowitz Law Group LLC today to speak with a skilled legal professional about your legal options.

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