Pensions, 401(k)s, and Retirement Savings
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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Offering Limited Scope Service
Mediation and Litigation

Divorce Lawyer in Los Gatos, California

San Jose, CA Divorce Attorney Working with Pensions, 401(k)s, and Retirement Savings

santa clara county retirement division attorney

California law requires that a divorcing couple disclose all of their assets, including any pensions, 401(k)s, and retirement savings accounts. Under the state's community property laws, these different accounts may be subject to division. Even if you do not have any retirement accounts in your own name, a court may order part of your spouse's retirement accounts be divided for your benefit.

A high-asset divorce can be emotionally and financially turbulent. The division of assets may have a major impact on the future standard of living each spouse enjoys. This impact may be even more intense when it comes to retirement.

Understanding What Qualifies as Marital Property

Community property laws only apply to the assets acquired since the date of the marriage, or the increase in value to the assets from the date of the marriage. If you or your spouse had a retirement account before marriage, the value of the account prior the marriage might not be subject to division in the divorce.

It may be necessary to calculate what retirement accounts and pensions were worth at different points in time. While these calculations can be complex, without them the property division will not be accurate. Sometimes outside accountants are needed to calculate the value of any pre-marriage retirement contributions.

Retirement and Tax Issues

The IRS has strict rules about when money can be withdrawn from certain retirement accounts without a tax penalty. If these rules are not followed, it could cost you thousands of dollars. In the case of a property division in a divorce, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be needed to make sure that the funds or benefits from an IRA, pension, 401(k), or other retirement vehicle are available to the other spouse without a tax penalty to the account holder.

Under California law, some pension plans even have to be added as parties to your divorce. This allows a judge to order the pension administrators to make certain funds and benefits available to the other spouse. Only certain kinds of pensions need to be added in this way.

Contact a Skilled Santa Clara County Lawyer

The Law Offices of Benita Ventresca understands the importance of making sure all pensions, 401(k)s, and other retirement savings accounts are fully disclosed and properly valued. The tax consequences and impact on future retirement benefits are carefully weighed when structuring property division agreements or evaluating proposals made by the other side.

If you believe a divorce may be in your future, contact us at 408-395-8822 today to schedule a consultation. With over 35 years of experience, our firm can help you evaluate the impact a divorce may have on your retirement. Our main offices are located in Los Gatos, California. We serve clients in Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Monte Sereno, San Jose, Mountain View, Los Altos, and throughout the area.
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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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Call us for a free initial consultation


Conveniently located in downtown los gatos and
close to highway 280, 85 & 880


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