Dividing a Pension in a Virginia Divorce

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 by Hofheimer Family Law

When an older couple goes through a Virginia divorce, they face unique challenges and considerations, particularly where finances are concerned. One monetary aspect of a divorce for older couples is the division of a pension or retirement plan.

Pensions are payments made by an employer or the government that serve as a replacement for income once a person has retired.

In Virginia, pensions are considered marital property if they were earned while the couple was married. The portion of a pension earned during the marriage is divided according to Virginia’s fair and equitable system of property distribution. This system takes many factors into consideration when deciding what amount is fair, but in the case of pensions, the court usually grants the payee half of the pension earned during the marriage.

Sometimes, a couple settling the financial issues of their divorce out of court will choose to divide a pension in a way that works for them, even if that way isn’t 50/50. If so, the parties need to notify the pension administrator by filing a legal document stating their intent.

In some cases, such as those involving military pensions, special rules may apply. Federal law dictates how these pensions are divided and paid to former spouses of military members. The laws might affect the amount paid as well as the timing and scheduling of payments.

To discuss division of pension as well as all other financial aspects of your Virginia divorce, contact a Virginia divorce attorney as soon as possible.

To learn more about how divorce affects mature couples, please visit our article library.

There are very specific rules governing divorce in Virginia. At Hofheimer Family Law Firm we are committed to providing you with the experience and compassion you deserve and the successful results you need to move on with your life. Request a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.