Michael G. Putter Attorney at Law
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Some pensions are protected from property division

When you are going through a divorce, you might have to take steps to protect your pension. While there isn't a good chance that you will walk away with 100% of it, there might be some hope for keeping your financial security intact. Before you automatically sign half of your pension away, think about these points.

One important point to remember in these cases is that there are some pension benefits that aren't divisible during a divorce. If you had a pension in place before you got married, this might apply to you. In order to be protected, it must be a defined benefit plan that was established at least a decade before the marriage. In this case, the contributions in the account during that 10-year period won't be divisible.

Another consideration is that you might not have to count on the division of your pension if there are other assets that are being divided. If there are others possible, you might be able to walk away with the entire pension in place. For example, your ex might opt to keep the paid-off house in exchange for waiving any rights to your pension.

Instead of automatically thinking the worst, you should look at all the possibilities that are on the table. You might be surprised at what your ex actually wants in the divorce. As is the case with any other aspect of divorce and property division, think carefully about the options impacting your future. You might find that there are things that you didn't think of that work out in your favor.

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