What You Need to Know About Pensions and Divorce

Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP

If you are getting divorced and you and/or your spouse have a pension, it is important to understand how they are treated when dividing property. Pensions are very valuable assets and can often be worth more than all other assets combined. Due to this, having a lawyer when getting divorced with a pension is a wise idea.

How is property divided during the divorce process in California?

California is considered a community property state. That means that any assets and debts acquired during a marriage belong equally to both spouses and they will be equally divided in a divorce. While it is established by law that the assets are divided evenly during a divorce, some couples cannot agree on who gets what and will often go to court to fight over the details.

Can pensions be comingled?

Yes. In California, pensions can be comingled. Any contributions that were made to a pension prior to marriage or a domestic partnership are considered separate property. Contributions that were made to a pension after marriage or domestic partnership are considered community property and will thus be divided equally in a divorce.

If we each have a pension, can we just keep our own?

You may be able to each keep your own pension in a divorce, but there are some things to consider first. You should each be sure of the value of your pensions, which should be done with the help of a lawyer.

Do I need a lawyer to deal with my pension?

Yes, you should consult with a lawyer to deal with your pension during a divorce. Dividing pensions can be very complicated, more complicated than dividing other types of property. A pension can also be more valuable than any other asset, including a house. Special rules apply to pensions and they are very technical. Do not make the mistake of undervaluing your pension. Instead, utilize the trusted guidance on an attorney when getting divorced.

For help dealing with your pension and the divorce process, contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP!

At Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP, we have over 26 years of experience when it comes to divorces in California. We know the ins and outs of California family law, especially in regards to pensions during a divorce proceeding. Whatever the judge orders will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse down the line so it is important to ensure that you have a skilled family law attorney on your side throughout the settlement process to protect your pension. Give us a call today at 909-482-1422 to set up your initial consultation.

To learn more about the reliable and quality family law services that we offer, visit us on the web at Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP.