In Utah, each spouse is awarded an equitable portion of marital assets. All assets that were accrued or that appreciated in value during the marriage are marital assets, subject to equitable distribution. Even though you were likely the sole contributor to your retirement accounts, your spouse is entitled to a fair portion of your retirement assets. Generally, all interest accrued in retirement accounts during the course of your marriage will be divided equally between you and your spouse.
There is little you can do to protect your retirement in the event of divorce. If you have other assets, such as real property, savings accounts or investments, you can attempt to offset your spouse’s portion of your retirement assets.
In addition to Utah state law, federal laws such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) can have an effect on how pensions are handled during divorce.