Division of Retirement Assets


Illinois Lawyer for Division of Retirement Assets

Trusted and Experienced Family Law Help Since 1966

A large portion of divorcing couples’ assets are often held in retirement accounts, including 401(k) and IRA accounts. It’s important, then, to know how your retirement assets will likely be viewed and divided by family law judges under Illinois law.

How Retirement Accounts Are Divided During Divorce

Courts wish to give both spouses an equal chance to build sufficient retirement reserves and, consequently, retirement assets are typically divided equally. When the division of other assets needs to be equalized, retirement accounts can sometimes be used to offset other assets. Retirement assets, though, have less value than cash, stocks or bonds because:

  • Owners pay a penalty if the account is liquidated before retirement age
  • Owners will pay tax when cashing out or drawing on the account

How to use Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for More Immediate Retirement Asset Division

Courts, by court order, can use Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to disperse retirement funds before retirement age at the time of divorce without penalty. Both the plan itself or funds that will be dispersed from the plan can be dispersed under a QDRO.

Legal Help in Protecting Your Rights and Achieving a Resolution

Elliot Heidelberger has handled hundreds of divorce cases involving the division of retirement assets. He handles high- and low-net-worth estates and is experienced in handling cases involving federal retirement benefits, railroad benefits, military benefits, Social Security benefits and more. To learn more, contact Elliot Heidelberger at our Naperville or Hanover Park offices or downtown Chicago offices by calling (847) 497-5020.