Ask a California Family Law Attorney: Can Divorce Impact Retirement?

San Francisco Divorce LawyersRelationships can develop at any point during one’s life, and people regularly get married during their later years. By the same token, however, divorces can happen at any time as well. When those who are close to the age of retirement or are currently enjoying their post-career years think about the possibility of divorce, a couple of questions instantly spring to mind. Namely, how can divorce impact retirement and other assets?

For this post, we’re exploring this very issue. As always, we want to remind you that the information contained in this post is general in nature. For tailored legal advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Rubin & Levavi, P. C. For the time being, here’s the basics about how retirement is impacted during divorce in CA.

Divorce Proceedings are Subject to Community Property Laws and Guidelines

California Family Code section 760 is clear: all property that is attained during the length of the marriage falls under community property. What this means is that, during divorce proceedings, everything under this umbrella is to be divided evenly between both parties.

That’s right, this also applies to retirement plans, and includes (but is not limited to):

  • 401k plans
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Public pensions
  • Private pensions
  • Military/civil pensions

However, it is important to note that this only applies to benefits and retirement plans that were earned within the duration of a marriage. If your retirement benefits were fully or partially earned outside of the marriage, then you are entitled to fully retain that amount, as none of it would be considered community property.

Consult with a Knowledgeable California Divorce Attorney

That said, trying to determine what exactly is and isn’t community property within retirement benefits can quickly become convoluted. Keeping good records is key, as is consulting with a qualified legal professional.

If you’re thinking about getting a divorce or are currently involved in complex asset division procedures in CA, know that we at Rubin & Levavi, P. C. are here to lend our expertise. We invite you to call us at (415) 564-2776, where you can learn more about what we do, as well as schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced CA divorce attorney.