Serving Clients Across Texas

Is My Spouse Entitled To My Retirement from Before I Was Married?

When going through a divorce in Dallas, Texas, it is important to preserve any retirement funds or other funds you owned prior to marriage. Texas is a community property state. This means that anything owned during the marriage is presumed to be community property and is thus divisible by the Court.

However, if you can prove that an item or funds are your separate property, then the Court cannot divide or award your spouse that which it finds to be your separate property. Something is your separate property if you can prove you owned it prior to marriage, inherited either prior to or during the marriage, or it was gifted to you either prior to or during the marriage. It is your burden to prove something is your separate property.

Many people enter into a marriage with retirement accounts. If you find yourself going through a divorce in Texas, it is your burden to prove that you owned retirement accounts prior to the marriage. The best way to prove that you owned a retirement account prior to marriage is to produce the statement from the month prior to marriage that shows the balance in the retirement account at that time.

Do not rely on the fact that you will be able to get the information from the retirement plan later on if you need it. Many retirement plans only hold records for 7 years. Additionally, some retirement plans change companies and trying to track down records can be tedious and sometimes impossible to obtain.