Sarasota Divorce and Pension Attorney

Divorce Courts in Sarasota consider Pensions, and other similar deferred compensation plans as marital assets subject to equitable distribution. Simply put, equitable distribution” states that if an asset was earned during the marriage, it should be divided equally at the divorce.

If you're dividing your Pension through a Sarasota divorce Court, you need to know that Pensions and retirement accounts are unique, as they are often partially earned prior to the marriage. The portion of the pension earned prior to the marriage is non-marital, meaning it belongs exclusively to the spouse who earned it. The portion of the pension earned after the marriage is marital, meaning it should be divided equally between the parties, regardless of who earned it.

As these accounts bear interest, and are often affected by the rise and fall of the stock market, calculating which portion is which can be complicated. In the event a pension or retirement account has significant value, it is often well worth it to employ a forensic accountant to assist the Court in making its decision.

The division of pensions (and all other marital assets) is governed by Florida Statute 61.75. This statute defines the concepts of marital vs. non-marital assets, and provides the Court with a starting point for division of the assets called “equitable distribution”.

Unequal distribution in favor of the earning spouse is possible, but not guaranteed. It’s also something that must be requested in your initial divorce pleadings. This argument can cut both ways, meaning the non-earning spouse can request, and sometimes receive, more than half of any marital asset, including a pension.