If my wife and I get a divorce, do I still have to give her 1/2 of my 401K when she has quit her job after 18 years taken her 401k out and spent it? 9 Answers as of May 29, 2013

Therefore I'd be getting nothing from her retirement fund. We live in Washington state.

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S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
If you and your wife live in Washington State your divorce, including the settlement of any marital property issues, would be governed by the laws of that state, not the state of Pennsylvania. You should therefore direct your question to an attorney licensed to practice in that state.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/29/2013
Shimberg and Crohn, P.C. | Jonathan Shimberg
If you live in Washing, ask a Washington lawyer, not an Illinois lawyer. If you lived in Illinois, it would depend on what she spent her 401k on.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/29/2013
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
Each of you are entitled to one-half of all assets acquired during your marriage. If she has already retired, the division order can be adjusted to compensate so that you effectively receive one-half of that portion of her retirement benefit acquired during marriage. You need to get a lawyer to help you on this one.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/29/2013
Morelos Law Firm
Morelos Law Firm | Andrea Morelos
This says you live in Washington state but I can only advise on NC law. Getting 50% of one's retirement is not automatic, but rather a right one has under "Equitable Distribution". If you don't have that addressed in a separation agreement, have it decided by the court, or at least have it pending in court by the time the divorce is final, those rights are LOST. So, if she does not file for these interests before you get divorced than no you would not have to give her any of your retirement...in NC.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/29/2013
Kunin &Carman | Ishi Kunin
If Washington is community property, the answer is yes. If she bought "things" with the money she took from her 401K, you are entitled to half of those things.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/29/2013
    John Russo | John Russo
    Yes unless she did it say over the last few months, if she did it 2 years ago can't cry over spilled milk what I mean by that is you were married you allowed her to do it and possibly even benefited from the funds so it is hard for the court to go back and add things back in that happened while you were still married.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    If it's a community property state like Washington state, then virtually all assets accumulated during the marriage are divided 50-50 between spouses unless special rules apply to the particular situation you've described.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    I can't speak as to the laws in Washington, but the answer is California, is generally speaking, yes. Community property is to be divided between the parties and 401k's, pensions, etc. earned during the term of the marriage are presumed to be community property absent some other factor. (prenuptial agreement etc.) You should consult a family law attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I do not know the law in Washington State. Please find a very good divorce attorney in your area. It does not sound right for her to take and spend her pension, and then try to take half of yours. Good luck, and go fight. Go talk to a nasty, smart divorce attorney near you, and take action. Nasty, smart action. Too bad you are not in New Jersey. I could help you. It is hard to find a good divorce lawyer who will fight for you and not charge an obscene amount of your money. Find someone who spends most of their time in divorces. Find someone who has been in court several times this year (2013) in the county courthouse where your divorce will be filed. If they don't go to court often, they are not the lawyer you want. And find someone who has handled at least three or four full and complete divorce trials. Good luck. Don't put up with this idiot. Fight back.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/29/2013
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