What Happens to My Retirement Account if I Get a Divorce in Oregon?

What Happens to My Retirement Account if I Get a Divorce in Oregon?

Retirement accounts are subject to division and distribution if you divorce in Oregon. Depending on how the court designates the property, the spouse named on the account may get to keep sole ownership of the retirement plan. However, factors such as the contribution of marital funds may result in a split of the retirement account.

Retirement is the time when people decide to leave the workforce. Many people retire from their jobs after working for a certain number of years or reaching a particular age. Depending on the career, retirement plan, or financial status, a person can retire. In the United States, the typical retirement age begins at 65 years old.

Workers may have retirement accounts and plans during their employment. Employers may offer retirement options for their employees. Individuals may decide to have a retirement account outside of their jobs. When an employee reaches 62 years old, they may receive social security retirement benefits.

Spouses may have retirement accounts that they bring into the marriage. During the marital relationship, they may change or acquire additional retirement plans. Unfortunately, some marriages do not last forever, and the spouses decide to divorce.

The term for divorce in Oregon law is a dissolution of marriage. A spouse must file a petition with the appropriate court and give notice and a copy of the filing to the other spouse to dissolve the relationship. In the divorce process, both spouses must submit a list of all property they had before and during the marriage, including current information about any retirement account or plan.

Oregon law designates the spouses' assets as separate property and marital property. Separate property is the property that each spouse acquires before marriage. State law presumes that any property obtained during the marriage is marital property, even if it is in the name of only one of the spouses. However, the property received during the marriage by gift to one spouse and held separately, through a will or inheritance, is also separate property.

The court may determine that a retirement account is a separate property, marital property, or both. If the court rules that the funds are individual property, the spouse who owns the account retains ownership. This result may also occur if the couple enters into a premarital agreement stating that the retirement account remains separate property if they divorce.

The retirement account might be marital property if a spouse acquired it during the marriage. The court divides and distributes marital property by equitable distribution. The judge distributes the property based on what they deem fair, which is not always an equal split.

In some cases, the retirement plan may have separate marital property. The portion of the funds received before marriage goes to the account owner as individual property. The part of the retirement with contribution from funds during the marriage is marital property distributed equitably to the spouses.

Other Divorce Frequently Asked Questions