As you prepare for your upcoming divorce proceedings in Oklahoma City, you should be aware of any potential surprises that may await you. One that many in your same position reports as having not anticipated is having to divide up their 401(k) with their ex-spouses. Like them, you might assume that your 401(k) is a personal asset (as it is the result of your own individual employment). Yet given that contributions made to a 401(k) account during a marriage come from marital income, family courts classify them as marital assets.

You probably believed that the only impact your divorce would have on your retirement plans would be to change the person you spend those years with. Yet with the prospect of losing a portion of your 401(k) funds a strong possibility, you may feel panicked as to what you should do.

Keeping your full 401(k)

The 401(k) Help Center reports that retaining the full amount of this retirement account may be a possibility. However, to do so, you must convince your ex-spouse to relinquish their claim to those contributions made during your marriage. To do this, you likely will have to forego your interest in another marital asset of equal value in exchange. Yet before jumping into such a decision, you should understand exactly how much you may have to give up.

Valuing the future potential of 401(k) funds

With the request for your ex-spouse to give up their stake in your 401(k) on the table, the court values that interest at its potential future value (after factoring in growth from investment returns and earned interest). This means that you may have to give up more in value than what their portions of the contributions are currently worth. This is certainly a decision that deserves a good deal of thought before making.