Divorce Issues/IRA + Divorce


Is an individual's IRA safe from divorce? If a husband has a substantial IRA, can the wife from whom he is seeking a divorce lay claim to a portion of his IRA? The assets in the IRA have accumulated during the entire marriage. Both husband and wife are New Jersey residents. If you are unable to answer this question, can you suggest someone I could contact, as I do not know which state you live in. Thank you.

Dear Alan,
State laws do vary and I am not in New Jersey, but I can offer this.  If the marriage has lasted longer than 10 years, many states do treat IRAs similarly to pensions or SS.  IRAs can also be treated as equity, if they gain in value through the course of the marriage, and may be considered community property.  Most judges don't force an early withdrawal or penalty, but rather a payoff or eligibility at the time of collection.
I suggest you speak with the institution that holds the IRA, as well as an attorney in your state.
I wish you well.
Kind Regards,
KD Liz

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Kindred Beisinger penname K D Elizabeth Beisinger


I can answer general questions regarding separation, property, and some custody questions. I cannot answer legal questions or specific questions pertaining to individual states and counties. I can offer support through the pending time, as well as offering assistance and ideas as you move on as a single individual. I can tell you how to avoid repeat pitfalls and help you learn to leave old baggage out of new relationships. I can help you work through the contemplative time of "what if" and "if only." I am able to offer advice in dealing with unnecessary guilt, undeserved judgment, and share insight as to discerning between concerned friends, family and coworkers and nosey gossips.


I have been divorced more than once and am now married to my soulmate. We are living the exact life we both wanted to build 30 years ago, long before we ever met. Well actually it's better than I had dared hope.

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