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Dividing retirement accounts can be challenging during divorce

When people think about divorce, they often think about who gets the home and child custody if there are minor children. Many people completely forget about one of the most important assets: retirement accounts.

Retirement accounts are often in the name of the spouse with the higher income or the better job. Stay-at-home spouses may not have much, if any, retirement savings. That's why it's so important that these assets are fairly divided during a divorce. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help ensure that the process of asset division during your divorce includes retirement accounts.

Illinois is a marital property state. All property and assets acquired and earned during the marriage should be equally divided between spouses. In the case of retirement accounts, this could mean that only a portion of the money in the account will be divided. If one spouse had been contributing to the retirement account before marriage, those funds and the interest on them are typically the sole property of that individual. However, all money invested and the interest it accrued during the marriage should be considered part of the asset division process.

An attorney can help simplify the division of retirement accounts

As most bankers can tell you, withdrawing funds from a retirement account before you reach retirement age can result in serious tax penalties. There isn't a special exemption from that law for couples who divorce. Splitting up a retirement account and withdrawing funds during divorce can result in increased tax liability for both people involved. For that reason, the funds, interest and penalties or fees must all be considered and evenly split. Working with the right attorney is critical to a fair division of assets. Your former spouse will definitely have legal representation, so you are going to need it too.

Not all attorneys have the right experience when it comes to high asset divorces, retirement accounts, and non-financial assets. You need to retain the help of an attorney who has experience with complex assets in Illinois divorces. The more assets you have, the more likely the division process will become contentious. You need legal representation that you can trust. The sooner you speak with an attorney after you know a divorce is imminent, the better your chance of a favorable outcome.

Don't lose out on retirement account assets

Your attorney can help you fight for a fair division of assets, whether your marital assets are straightforward or complex. Even non-financial assets, like classic cars and fine art, can be professionally priced and included in the division of assets if you have an experienced divorce attorney. You shouldn't risk losing out on assets that you have a legal claim to during divorce. Contact an attorney today to get the help you need during your high asset divorce.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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