Is it possible to get more than half your spouse’s retirement benefits when you divorce?

When it comes to divorce retirement benefits, it would seem logical that the person who actually worked and accrued these benefits should get the biggest chunk of it if the parties divorce, right? But this is not always the case. It has happened that judges award the spouse who is financially dependent a bigger share of the retirement benefits than the person who actually earned the benefits. # MORE THAN HALF YOUR SPOUSE’S RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Usually, it is the wife who gets this advantage. So instead of, for example, getting 50 percent or less of her husband’s 401K or IRA or other type of pension, the judge may award her 50 percent or 70 percent. Or even, crazily 100 percent. This is not common that a spouse would get one hundred percent but depending on the circumstances, it could happen.

Is it “fair”? It depends on how you look at it. The pension or IRA is not going to be the only asset the couple owns and often times, it is not even the most valuable (although it could be). So the judge will look at the overall financial package and the future earning potential of the parties in making a determination about pensions and other divorce retirement benefits.

But get this idea out of your head that there is a set percentage either spouse is entitled to. It really comes down to the circumstances and the judge’s exercise of discretion.¬†# MORE THAN HALF YOUR SPOUSE’S RETIREMENT BENEFITS.

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