Dividing up your life is the whole goal of a divorce. You want to take this life you have together and separate it into two entities. This is not an easy task. The court has specific rules it follows when dividing assets. However, you also can come to an agreement outside of court that is more suitable for your specific situation.
Keep in mind, though, you still must follow the law. Alaska is an equitable division state, which means that the court wants you to divide your assets fairly. As you work on an agreement, you will need to consider your retirement accounts. These are assets that you must divide or at least account for in your property division agreement. Here are three things to keep in mind about this type of asset:
1. Consider value
Zacks explains one of the trickiest aspects of retirement accounts is that some types can have fluctuating values. So, it is important to account for that when dividing them. You want to be sure you divide it in a way that should it decrease in value, you will not lose out.
2. Understand ownership
The basic rule about ownership in a marriage is that both spouses own every asset you have equally. When it comes to your retirement accounts, if you started it before you married, then you may be able to claim part of it as separate property, but that is not a guarantee. Generally, if you contributed to it during your marriage, then you both own it.
3. Divide carefully
You do not necessarily have to divide your retirement accounts down the middle. You may not even have to divide them at all. The idea of equitable distribution is that you each receive a fair amount of your total assets. So, it is possible for you to give your spouse other assets in lieu of splitting your retirement account.