Cadillac, MI asked in Divorce for Michigan

Q: How long do you have to be married to qualify for a spouses 401K in a divorce?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: There is no time requirement, but when making an equitable division of assets (and debts), we're looking toward what is considered the marital estate - meaning anything acquired or accumulated during the marriage. In the case of a retirement account, what may be relevant is what contributions were made during the marriage (not the entire balance necessarily), and how much interest and dividends were received. In the case of a short term marriage, you could be talking a couple hundred dollars.

This all is aside from the fact that to split retirement account assets, you'd generally need a QDRO, which can cost some money to draft and enter. Unless you find the funds to be worth the expense of a QDRO, there are sometimes more efficient ways to get to an equitable division.

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