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Can I keep my pension in my divorce?

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Going through a divorce is bound to affect your finances to a considerable degree. You may have a pension at your workplace, so naturally, you might worry about how your divorce will treat it. You likely want to hold on to as much of your pension as possible or even keep all of it if you can.

Under some circumstances, some of your pension will not be subject to property division. FindLaw explains how some people may protect some of their pension or perhaps all of it while going through divorce.

Your pension as separate property

Keep in mind that money accumulated in your pension during your marriage will more than likely count as marital property. However, the same is not true for money that you had earned while single. So you should be able to keep whatever portion of your pension that counts as separate property.

Negotiate for the full pension

Even if you have a sizable amount of your pension that you could lose to your spouse, you might still have a chance to keep it. Your pension is just a single piece of your collective marital property. Instead of splitting your pension, you may negotiate away some assets of equal value in exchange for your spouse’s share. This could be preferable if you have some property that you would rather get rid of if it means you can retain your pension.

Buy out your spouse

As an alternative to negotiating away property, you may find other assets to buy out your spouse. For instance, you and your spouse probably own equity in your marital home. If you have no interest in keeping the home, you might trade your equity for your spouse’s portion of the pension if it is enough. If possible, you may also combine multiple assets that reach the full amount of your spouse’s pension share.

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