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2 ways to keep from splitting your pension

You don't want to split your pension with your ex, but you know it's likely going to happen. If you were married when you earned it, then it's a marital asset just like almost everything else you earned.

There are a few outs if you're really against splitting those payments. Maybe you just want a clean break and you don't want to be tied to your ex financially for years to come.

To get out of it, you likely have to offer your spouse something else. You use the other assets you control to buy your way out.

For instance, you could offer to take out a life insurance policy. If the pension would have been worth $200,000 to your spouse, you can take out a policy for the same amount. You get the pension as long as you're alive, and it ends automatically when you die anyway. At that point, your ex gets paid, since you named him or her as the beneficiary.

Another option is just to take stock of major assets, like the home. You know you could spend months working to sell it, earn a lot of money in the current market and make out pretty well. Your spouse wants to keep it, though. If you offer to give your spouse the house in exchange for the entire pension, you end two potential disagreements at once. You both get what you really want.

As you can see, it pays to consider all of your options. Be flexible. Remember that there may be things you can do to fight for what you want in the divorce, even if the laws make it sound impossible.

Source: Investopedia, "How to Protect Your Pension in Divorce," Rebecca Lake, accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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