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Protecting retirement plans in the midst of divorce

California residents who work hard to save for their retirement could find that a divorce can often erase these efforts. It is necessary to realize that there are so many types of retirement assets that the rules governing division of them could play an important role in the final value both for the original account holder and for the party receiving part or all of such an asset. Guidance can be extremely helpful as these issues are considered before and during the proceedings.

Retirement accounts do not necessarily reflect the current earnings of an individual, which makes a full review of the financial affairs of both parties important. Someone who earns a modest wage could have an excellent retirement plan that a spouse might not be aware of. A complex asset division situation could arise as 401(k) accounts, company pensions and investment portfolios are evaluated. A lack of knowledge could result in a spouse giving up interest in a valuable plan or incurring huge tax liabilities because of the receipt of a tax-deferred account.

An account might be deemed to have a certain value at the time of separation, but market activity could increase or decrease that value significantly later on. Some retirement accounts could be liquidated under certain conditions by an individual in need of cash, but others might not be accessible until the primary account holder reaches retirement age. Imminent financial needs and long-term goals may play a large part in seeking an interest in one type of account or another.

Before initiating a divorce, an individual might find it helpful to discuss the situation with a family law attorney to identify goals and to understand how the process will take place. In some cases, the attorney might recommend negotiating a settlement if the couple remains relatively amicable towards each other.

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818-538-8637
949-342-8426

Woodland Hills Office
21800 Oxnard Street
Suite 850
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Toll Free: 818-538-8637
Phone: 949-342-8426
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Phone: 949-342-8426
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