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How retirement benefits are handled for divorce in Ohio

Couples headed for divorce in Ohio will rightfully want to know how retirement benefits are dealt with so they can prepare for what's to come. Here is a brief overview of how the state of Ohio handles retirement accounts when a couple gets divorced.

It has been held by the Supreme Court in the state of Ohio that all retirement benefits accumulated during the length of a marriage are assets of the marriage. This means that they will need to be divided when a couple decides to divorce. Because these benefits are now viewed as equitable, they must be divided fairly among the two parties divorcing.

When getting divorced in Ohio a host of different retirement plans will be considered for division. The various types of plans include the following:

  • Private plans from employer or individual plans
  • Public plans provided by state, federal and other government entities
  • Civil Service Retirement
  • Federal Thrift Savings
  • Federal Employees Retirement
  • Railroad Retirement
  • Social Security
  • Military Benefits
  • Police and Firemen Retirement System
  • Public Employees
  • State Teachers System

When it comes to dividing an IRA or 401(k) plan among divorcing spouses, the court will look at the financial statements for those accounts to make a decision. Any contributions made to these accounts prior to the couple getting married and appreciation since then cannot be divided in divorce.

A divorce court must approve a Division of Property Order in Ohio for the ownership in a plan to be transferred to another party. To transfer ownership in a federal plan, a qualified domestic relations order has to be filed.

Are you headed for divorce in Columbus? Contact our experienced divorce firm to discuss your situation and how you can protect your retirement benefits.

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