If you spent the majority of your marriage as a stay-at-home parent raising the kids, then it is likely that you contributed less income to a retirement plan compared to your spouse. In the face of an impending divorce, this might make you feel like you will have no retirement assets of your own and that you must work into your elderly years.
Keep in mind that regardless of employment history or contributions, both spouses will receive their fair share of marital property. With retirement being a key point of concern, especially for stay-at-home parents, it is important to know your rights and options when it comes to claiming retirement assets.
Can you receive a share of your spouse’s retirement assets?
The Massachusetts divorce process follows a principle of equitable distribution when it comes to dividing marital assets. Contributions made to a retirement account during a marriage are marital assets, so you are likely to receive a share of any contributions made by your spouse. Massachusetts does not enforce a strict 50/50 policy, however, so there is no guarantee that you will receive exactly half of your spouse’s retirement assets.
How can you advocate for a greater share of retirement assets?
If retirement is a chief concern for you, you may wish to take measures to ensure that you receive half or more of the retirement assets in your marriage. One way to do this is through mediation in which you can make a case for receiving a greater share of retirement assets in exchange for your spouse keeping an equitable amount of other shared assets.
Retirement planning can be an overwhelming topic for divorcing individuals who do not have significant savings of their own. By exercising your rights in the divorce, however, you can safeguard your future.