What Happens To My Retirement Plan During The Divorce Process?

divorce couple looking at retirement

The division of assets is one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. Massachusetts is one of the many “equitable distribution” states in our country. This means that a married couple’s shared property must be divided between both spouses in the event of a divorce. Any assets that were acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered marital property. If you’re planning on filing for divorce in our state, you might wonder how your retirement accounts will be handled during the division of assets. No need to worry because our knowledgeable law firm has the answers you need! Continue reading this blog to learn more information, or reach out to a Division of Assets and Debts Lawyer in Mansfield, MA for individualized legal counseling.


If your retirement plan was acquired during the marriage, then it’s considered marital property in Massachusetts. This means that any retirement accounts accrued by either spouse will likely be divided between both spouses during the asset division process. Keep in mind that equitable distribution doesn’t necessarily mean that the funds will be split 50/50. Nowadays, most spouses choose to make divorce decisions themselves with legal guidance from a divorce lawyer or mediator. This can be favorable for couples who want more control over how their assets will be handled throughout legal proceedings. Divorce law can be confusing though, so it’s important to seek legal help if you choose this option. If spouses cannot come to a reasonable agreement on their own, a divorce judge will decide the final settlement. The judge will divide assets, including retirement funds, fairly based on a large list of factors, including each spouse’s financial status and the length of the marriage.


Most divorces in Massachusetts require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) in order to successfully divide funds in a retirement account between both spouses. This is a court order that ensures that shared retirement plans are split without facing tax penalties or other consequences. You’ll likely need help from a divorce lawyer in order to file this legal document. A QDRO is a separate order from the asset division settlement.

Are you filing for divorce in Massachusetts? Are you seeking a trustworthy divorce attorney who can help you file a QDRO to divide a retirement account? Look no further because our highly experienced law firm is on your side every step of the way! Contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today for an initial consultation.