How can I prevent my spouse from getting my pension during a divorce?

Dear Liz,
After 30 years of marriage, the wife and I are calling it quits. Will I have to share my pension with my wife once we are divorced or is there something I can do now to keep it for myself?
– Pension Problem
Dear Pension Problem,

I am sorry to read that you and the Mrs. are calling it quits, 30 years sounds like an impressive amount of time to be married! Since divorce questions like this are a bit out of my league, I’ll cut to the chase and let my pal Amy tackle this one since divorce law is sort of her thing. Best of luck!

Here is what Amy had to say:

Property division in Maine aims for fairness rather than a 50/50 split, and that includes any assets, including a pension, acquired during a marriage. This means that all of your pension accrued from the date you were married until the date you are divorced is a marital asset and will be counted. Trying to hide assets, by the way, is a sure path to trouble (and expense) in court.

There are several factors that a court will consider in determining a fair distribution of your pension. The judge will consider all your assets and debts before dividing any of them. For example, depending on the value of the assets, the court could award to your spouse the marital home and let you keep all or most of your pension. As another example, if you took on more marital debt upon divorce, you may be awarded more of your pension.

Good luck!

~ Liz

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