When you get divorced in Virginia, you will have to split your marital property with your spouse, including retirement assets accumulated during your marriage. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement that designates specific assets as your separate property, you will have to apply Virginia state law to determine what you must split in a divorce.
Whether you intend to litigate the divorce or want to negotiate a settlement with your spouse, you need to understand which assets are subject to division and which aren’t.
The name on the account is not what matters
Perhaps you started funding your retirement account before you got married. The longer you have worked for the same employer, the greater the likelihood that you have established a sizable retirement savings account or pension.
Even though a retirement account is in your name, a portion of it may be marital property and subject to division. What matters is not the name on the account but when the assets were accumulated. Contributions and interest accumulated during your marriage are marital property and are subject to division. Assets and interest accumulated prior to your marriage are your sole property.
You may be able to negotiate an asset swap with your spouse in order to keep your retirement savings. You can also protect retirement benefits with a prenuptial agreement. Seeking legal advice can help you preserve as much of your assets as possible in a future divorce.