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How and when is my husband's pension divided in the divorce? We were married 25yrs. Also how are any IRA's & investments divided

Cincinnati, OH |

My husband has been with the same company for 20 yrs, so has a decent pension, was wondering if that is something that will have to be divided in the divorce and if so, is it divided in half? If so, when would I receive it? We also have other investments such as IRA's and stocks, are those divided in half as well? I'm just trying to figure out when I would have access to these funds because I want to try to find someplace for me and my kids to live. We are in Ohio.

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Attorney answers 3


My best advice is for you to talk to a local family law attorney. You are seeking very specific advice that we can't give you over a public forum. Generally speaking, property AND debt are equally divided among the parties. There are many factors to consider when dividing property. You don't just get the property. You are also entitled to half of the debt. So depending on your property vs. debt the answer to your question could be very different. Also, there are special forms that must be executed before you may get any funds from the pension, IRA, etc. I wouldn't count on getting any of these funds before the divorce is finalized. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

This information is intended as general information only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship between me and the asker.


As a general rule you are entitled to half of the marital portion of his pension. Understand that you may or may not get the ACTUAL pension money. There may be offsets and you could take other assets instead. You can have the pension valued to determine its present value. IF you do that, and find that your husbands equity in the house is near that same number, and if both of you agree, you can offset those values. OR if he has cash on hand to buy you out, likely at a discount you could do that as well. There are MANY different options, depending on your assets and debts.

IF you divide the pension, there is a document called a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) that is used to divide the pension interest (assuming this is a private company, and not the state). Depending who prepares these, they may cost upwards of $400 to prepare.

As to your other investments, YES, all marital assets are generally divided in half. This is not easy. Half is never HALF. Fair just and equitable is the goal. Understand that any assets you receive will be rolled over to you, and YOU will then need to take the penalties on them if you intend on spending that money now.

You NEED to speak to an attorney now for more information.

The above information is not, nor intend to be, legal advice. You SHOULD consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Based on this response no attorney-client relationship has been formed. If your matter is in Cuyahoga County or surrounding counties, we invite you to contact us. Please visit our website at Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time and attorney-client relationship is formed. Attorneys in this firm are only licensed to practice in the state of Ohio and have no specific information as to the laws and rules of other states and none of the information provided is intended to be applied to the laws of other states.


The part of the pension that was accumulated during the divorce is a marital asset to be divided equally unless there are other issues. You may not be able to receive it until he retires, or you may be able to roll over your half once you have a decree. It depends on the plan. IRA's and stocks accumulated during the marriage also are considered marital assets to be evenly divided. You may want to roll the IRA's over to avoid paying tax on them right away.