Divorce: Can I keep the money in my retirement accounts by filing bankruptcy

Posted by William H. Sherman on Jan 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Question:  I'm getting a divorce and I don't want my wife to get my retirement accounts. I have two pretty big retirement accounts and I don't think she deserves to get any of the money in them. They are from two different employers; one job I had for 15 years and the other for 21 years. I earned those retirement funds and I'd like to keep them 100% for me and I'd like to use them as I wish. If I file bankruptcy will that protect my retirement accounts in the divorce? I know people file bankruptcy to protect assets. I need a Georgia divorce lawyer to help me.

We're getting a divorce because my wife caught me cheating and we went to 3 years of marriage counselling and apparently it hasn't worked and now she wants a divorce. At counselling I admitted to the affair and a few others over the years because the counsellor said I should be totally honest and my wife wouldn't hold it against me, but she did. She kind of hates me now.

We have been married for about 40 years; we got married right out of Milton High School because she thought she was pregnant. When I found out she really wasn't pregnant it didn't bother me too much but I thought she might be a liar.

Now I need to know if I can keep the money I worked hard for in my retirement accounts by filing bankruptcy.

C.C. in Marietta, GA

Answer:  We handle a lot of issues related to divorce and retirement accounts. In many divorce situations, retirement accounts become parts of the negotiation. They can be valuable assets that both parties want.

Sometimes, depending upon the type of account involved, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is used to split a retirement plan or pension.

Filing bankruptcy, however, will have no impact on the division of retirement accounts or a pension in a divorce. While retirement accounts are exempt under the bankruptcy laws, filing bankruptcy will not help you protect those accounts in a divorce, as your spouse may have a claim to some of the benefits. You seem to be mixing-up the bankruptcy and divorce laws.

Please call us and we can discuss the best ways for you to handle your retirement accounts in a divorce situation.

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About the Author

William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.


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