Ending a long-term marriage carries many important implications, some of which are easy to overlook even for those who put a lot of thought into the split. One consideration you might forget to account for is the fate of your retirement assets in a divorce.
Realizing that your divorce might significantly disrupt your retirement plans can be shocking. That is why it is crucial to fully understand how the divorce process will affect your retirement assets and how mediation can be the ideal method for protecting your retirement.
How divorce can affect your retirement assets
The California courts recognize retirement assets obtained during marriage as community property. This means that in standard divorce proceedings, you are likely to see your retirement accounts split and equitably divided between yourself and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you made more contributions to retirement accounts throughout your marriage compared to your spouse, it is possible that you will walk away with significantly fewer retirement savings than you started with.
Why mediation is a solution for protecting retirement assets
Choosing mediation as an alternative resolution process rather than typical courtroom proceedings gives you and your spouse greater control of the outcome. Under the guidance of a professional mediator, you can arrive at a compromise regarding the division of your marital assets. If your retirement accounts are of great importance to you, consider reaching an agreement through mediation in which you keep a greater share of retirement assets in exchange for other assets that your spouse values.
Aside from giving you the best chance at advocating for the assets you care about most, there are other key reasons to consider mediation in your divorce. Choosing to mediate also helps facilitate a more amicable outcome and is much more private compared to proceedings in the courtroom setting.