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Am I Entitled to My Spouse's Retirement Account?

Retirement accounts are one marital asset that people going through a family law case do not realize is marital. Retirement accounts are always listed in one party's name alone. Often, these accounts are funded directly through one spouse's employer. Sometimes, retirement accounts have been opened years prior to the parties' marriage.

Florida Statutes 61.075(5)(a)(4) defines “marital assets and liabilities” to include all vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs. Such vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement and other such plans and programs are marital assets subject to equitable distribution. The parties in a dissolution of marriage action have an obligation to present evidence of the existence and value of marital assets and the existence and balances due of marital debts in order for the court to include them in the final judgment.

In layman's terms, the increase in the value of a retirement account that occurs during the marriage is a marital asset, subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.

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