Is My Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) a Marital Asset?

In any divorce case, retirement funds are fair ground for equitable distribution.

If you or a spouse was a federal employee or uniformed service member, you are likely already familiar with a thrift savings plan (TSP). Similar in nature to a civilian 401(k), a TSP is a retirement plan designed exclusively for federal employees and service members. However, simply because one spouse is entitled to the TSP in question does not mean a Florida court is not allowed to equitably distribute the TSP.

When making a determination on the equitable distribution of property during a Florida divorce, a TSP is fair game during an equitable distribution hearing. Knowing this, it is imperative that Florida spouses get the full picture of retirement plans like a TSP. Otherwise, it is impossible to get a fair shake when negotiating with a soon-to-be former spouse when equitable distribution of marital property is on the table.

Strategizing for Equitable Distribution of a TSP

In a Florida divorce, it is generally a good idea for both parties to come to their own agreement on how to equitably distribute the marital property. When the court gets involved, there is generally less predictability as to how property will be distributed.

If both parties agree on how property should be distributed, an agreement can be reached to outline the terms of the distribution. Your family law attorneys will help facilitate these agreements to ensure both parties have a legally binding agreement that both parties find equitable, all while keeping the court out of the equation.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the court will have its say on how the property should be distributed. Here are a few potential outcomes for how a TSP could be distributed in such a scenario:

  • A current or former spouse may be awarded a portion or specified dollar amount of the TSP
  • Dependents may be awarded a portion or specified dollar amount of the TSP
  • The TSP account will be frozen to prevent loans or TSP withdrawals until the court-ordered award is paid or the order is otherwise effectively resolved

In short, whether you are a spouse with a TSP or you have a soon-to-be ex who has a TSP, it is essential to understand that a TSP will be equitably distributed in the state of Florida if it was acquired during the marriage. Knowing this, it is typically in the best interests of all parties involved to reach an equitable agreement without court involvement.

If you have questions regarding your marital assets, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]