Pensions are generally considered marital property and subject to distribution at the time of divorce. The pension may need to be appraised to determine the marital value of the pension, specifically in an instance where the party began accruing the benefits prior to the marriage or the parties were separated for numerous years before a divorce action was commenced. There are also retirement benefits that are excluded from equitable distribution. For example, under 23 Pa. C.S. 3501(a)(6), veterans' benefits are excluded from equitable distribution.
Some states routinely include a morality clause as part of a divorce case. A morality clause would prevent the parties from doing certain things following separation. In family law, the clause usually prevents either party from having a new partner stay overnight while minor children of the former marriage are present. Texas is one of the states that still routinely uses morality clauses in divorce actions. A recent decision in Collin County, Texas upheld a morality clause from a 2011 divorce ordering that the wife's new partner vacate the home where two children from the marriage resided.
Many clients contemplating divorce have questions about what they should do even prior to filing for divorce to protect themselves. Below is a list of some proposed actions from personal finance company, Kiplinger's.