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What happens to your pension benefits during a divorce?

As you and your spouse enter into the divorce process in the state of California, there are likely a lot of questions on your mind. One of the most concerning may be what happens to your pension. The reality is that your pension may be split, or you may be able to retain full ownership of it depending on the individual circumstances of your divorce.

Assessing the value of your pension

Asset division in divorce requires you to assess the value of what your pension is. First, you will need to deduct any pension benefits that were earned prior to the marriage. In many cases, pension benefits earned prior to the marriage are considered separate property under the law and remain in your ownership after your divorce. After the premarital pension benefits are deducted from the total benefit amount, you’ll have the post-marital benefit amount. This is the amount that gets split in half between you and your spouse.

Suggest an alternative

Once you know the amount of post-marital pension benefits that your spouse is entitled to, it’s time to offer up an alternative. By working alongside your lawyer, you can offer your spouse something of value that is equal to that of the post-martial pension benefits. If they agree to take the other asset, you may be able to keep your pension intact after the divorce. However, this is all dependent on whether or not your former spouse will take full ownership of another asset in order to relinquish their rights to half of your pension benefits.

Going through a divorce requires you to split up your marital assets in a fair manner. When it comes to your pension, your spouse will be entitled to half of the post-marital benefits. However, they may agree to take an alternative asset in order to satisfy their stake in these benefits so that you can keep your entire pension for yourself.



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