Many Nevada residents who work for the federal government contribute to Thrift Savings Plans. When they divorce, the amounts that have accrued will need to be divided between the spouses. Nevada law controls how the TSPs will be divided since there are no federal laws directing how the accounts should be handled in divorces.
Nevada is a community property state, which means that the marital assets are to be divided equally between the spouses. Marital property will not include assets that were owned separately by the spouses before the marriages, but it will include the increases in value that accrued during the marriages. In the case of a TSP, this means that the contributions that were made and the interest that has accrued during a marriage will be subject to division.
Couples may agree about how to divide the account balances or allow the court to decide for them. In order for the non-owner spouse to receive his or her portion, a retirement benefits court order will need to be filed with the plan administrator of the TSP. Until the divorce is final, the TSP will be frozen so that the owner is not able to make withdrawals. Any outstanding loans against the TSP balance will be deemed to be a part of the total balance when the division is made.
Property division in a high-asset divorce can often be highly complicated. When couples have been married for a long time, they may have accrued substantial assets. All of their marital assets will need to be divided. They will also need to divide their debts. Experienced family law attorneys may help their clients to determine which assets are part of the marital estate and which are separate property. They may then work to negotiate reasonable settlements for their clients.