No matter your age, saving for retirement is an essential investment in your future. These accounts could be subject to division in divorce, however. What will happen to your retirement savings at the end of your marriage?

Your savings may be included in your community property.

As a community property state, Texas regards the assets and debts you acquired during your marriage as co-owned. This community property will be split 50-50 between you in a divorce. This includes your retirement savings, even if only your name is listed on the account. Your divorce could also have a significant impact on your pension or social security benefits as well.

You can protect your retirement savings.

Especially for couples who are nearing retirement or are already retired, halving your retirement savings may mean that you will be left without the funds you need. However, while dividing your savings in half is one option, it is not the only option available to you.

If you and your spouse have retirement accounts of similar value, you could agree that you will keep your individual accounts. You could also agree that your spouse will keep other community property—money from your savings, your family home or other assets—that equal the value of your retirement account, allowing you to keep your savings intact.

It is also possible to protect your retirement savings long before the end of your marriage. You and your spouse can also decide to exclude retirement savings from your community property through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. For couples going through a difficult time that makes the future of their marriage uncertain, these agreements can offer important protection.

While dividing your retirement savings can be daunting, through careful legal strategy you can protect this savings and your financial future.