Married spouses share everything, but divorced or divorcing spouses typically do not. In Nebraska, any couples preparing for dissolution who do not already have a marital agreement about dividing their property will need to either negotiate a settlement with one another or prepare for divorce litigation.
Separate property won’t be subject to division, but most belongings and income obtained during the marriage will be in play during the divorce. Can one spouse protect their retirement savings as separate property because they hold the account solely in their name?
Timing matters more than technical ownership
When judges review the circumstances of a Nebraska couple preparing for divorce, they look at when and how those individuals acquired their property, as opposed to just what name they have on the ownership paperwork. A retirement account may include both separate and marital funds.
Any amounts added to the account before the marriage took place will be separate property that won’t necessarily be at risk of division. However, any amount added to the account during the marriage, including direct contributions, employer matching contributions and interest, could be subject to division.
A judge can order spouses to divide the account, which will involve creating a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to avoid penalties. They can also use the value of the account when making decisions about how to divide other assets for the couple. Spouses will generally need to report their retirement savings and other assets how solely in their name as they prepare for divorce in Nebraska.
Provided that people follow the right process for property division, they can reduce what losses they incur and retain crucial resources that they expect to rely on during their retirement years.