Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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How can you keep the full value of your 401k?

You have likely worked very hard to accumulate assets in Oceanside. Some might be earned with the help of a spouse, while others come solely through your own individual efforts. Divorce, however, can call your claim of sole ownership of your individual assets into question. Consider the 401k you have earned through your employer in Oceanside. The funds that go into it are a result of the work that you do. Why, then, would it be considered a marital asset? 

Almost all assets that you earn while with your spouse will end up being considered marital property. This includes salaries and wages. As contributions to your 401k come from your salary (and by extension, any matching funds provided by your employer), these also would then fall into this category. Keep in mind, however, that the full value of your 401k may not be subject to property division. Only those contributions made while you were married (along with any profits or interest the account generates during that same time frame) would be considered shared assets. 

If keeping the full value of your 401k is a priority to you, then you can make such a stipulation in a prenuptial agreement. Such agreements are meant to keep both sides of a marriage from profiting off it through a divorce. Your having designated your 401k as a protected asset could keep your spouse from having any claim to it (even the funds it accrues while you are married). 

If you do not have prenuptial agreement in place, the 401k Help Center recommends negotiating ownership of your 401k account in your divorce agreement. You can relinquish your claim to another marital asset in exchange for your spouse allowing you to keep complete ownership of your 401k. 

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Del Mar Office
445 Marine View Ave Ste 300
Del Mar, CA 92014

Phone: 858-356-4568
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Oceanside Office
301 Mission Avenue Suite 205
Oceanside, CA 92054

Phone: 760-712-3889
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