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Marriage Going Bust? Protect Your Retirement Plan From Going Bust, Too


Divorce hurts, but it doesn't have to be financially painful, too. Make no mistake: Divorce court is deadly serious theater. If you don't play it right, your finances could get impaired for many years.

What's more, the past decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of divorces involving spouses over the age of 50, which puts an increasing number of retirement plans into contentious play.

Divorce has been described as getting your wallet torn out through your heart. The financial pain of martial separation is especially acute when major assets such as a retirement portfolio is involved.

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There is a bewildering variety of retirement plans in the U.S., including state and federal government plans, military plans, and private sector plans. Each feature a specific set of rules for what that plan requires when dividing a participant's account.

Distinctions can also appear in terms of geographic location or profession. For example, an attorney located near a military base will probably see more military plans, as well as holdings in defense...