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Retirement assets can play a big role in property division

Divorcing couples are often surprised to discover how many assets they have accumulated during their marriages. Once they begin taking inventory, it quickly becomes apparent how complex the valuation of property can be. There are many smaller, less obvious assets — insurance policies, stock options and the like — and it is understandable why many find property division vexing. However, with a strong and thorough divorce strategy, it is possible to divide property in a way that spouses find mutually satisfactory.

Retirement assets can hold a lot of value but they are often overlooked by couples going through divorce. Child support, custody arrangements and deciding who gets the house may occupy a larger portion of a divorcing spouse’s thoughts, but this can be a mistake for many. Though properties like retirement assets may not be as obvious, in many cases they can hold a great deal of value. In fact, for many spouses, retirement accounts are their biggest asset.

In the case of retirement accounts, there exists a legal document that lays out the ex-spouse’s rights to a retirement account. These documents are not simple, which is why the help of legal professionals is often sought by those hoping to set down in clear terms how these assets are to be divided.

Property division is necessary in a divorce, though not a simple process — in order to divide assets in a way that is fair and satisfactory, it is often necessary to have a thorough and updated knowledge of the various family law issues involved. With this understanding, it is possible to construct a strong divorce strategy that addresses every nuance.

Source: Business Day, “How to divide your retirement assets in a divorce,” Dec. 31, 2013

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