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Who Keeps the 401(k) After Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on March 06, 2024 in Property Division

IL divorce lawyerRetirement savings accounts are often one of a married couple’s most valuable assets, especially in a long-term marriage. Since Illinois law states that both spouses can be said to have made contributions to building that asset, both spouses will receive a fair and equitable share of their 401(k). Contributions do not need to be direct financial contributions to count under Illinois law. Homemakers and stay-at-home parents can contribute to their spouse’s ability to earn money to put into retirement accounts in other ways. Only allowing the spouse who worked for pay to keep a married couple’s retirement funds could produce very unfair results, leaving the homemaker without a means of financial support after the divorce. A Naperville, IL, divorce lawyer can help you understand your rights when it comes to dividing a retirement account in divorce.

How a Homemaker Contributes to a Retirement Account

Having one spouse stay home to take care of the household and children can be quite economically valuable for the working spouse. If the homemaker did not clean, cook, or care for the children, the working spouse would have to pay someone else to perform all those tasks. Hiring a nanny and a housekeeper or paying for daycare during the workday can be quite expensive. Paying for groceries and other shopping to be delivered significantly raises the cost of necessities, which are already far more costly than they were even five years ago. Buying prepared food can cost quite a bit more than cooking. All of these things could cut into the amount an employed spouse would be able to contribute to his/her savings account.

Suppose that a single working adult decides not to hire people to clean, cook, provide childcare, or do the grocery shopping. He/she decides to do these tasks alone. This may mean that he/she would need to give up career opportunities that might come with a pay increase to keep a job that offers work-from-home opportunities so the children will have a parent around. He/she may need to miss work to stay home with a sick child. Working all day and then cleaning, shopping, and cooking in the evenings may make someone so tired that they cannot perform as well as they otherwise could, leading to fewer opportunities for promotion or pay raises.

Having a spouse who stays home and takes care of these tasks can make an enormous difference in a person’s career.

Contact a DuPage County, IL, Divorce Lawyer 

Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. recognize the valuable contributions of a stay-at-home parent or homemaker. Our committed Naperville, IL, divorce attorneys will work to ensure that a homemaker receives his/her fair share of any retirement savings the couple has. Contact us at 630-355-7776 for a free consultation.

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