When married couples begin saving money for retirement, most do not imagine that they may wind up alone before their golden years due to divorce. Division of property is a major aspect of divorce and it involves dividing everything from cars, heirlooms, and the home to pension assets and other retirement savings. Dividing money intended for future use can be a very complex process and often requires assistance from a professional.
Hiring a lawyer for marital property can prevent divorcing spouses from losing their entire retirement savings. People squirrel away this money throughout the working years, relying on it to support them once they hang up their hats with an employer. If this money is not divided correctly during a divorce, there may not be enough for the contributing spouse to live on or even use as supplemental income.
Married couples may have a single or multiple retirement accounts. A lawyer for marital property will help a client determine whether a spouse is entitled to any of this savings in the event of a divorce. Division of property is dependent upon several factors including the law in the residence state, assets and income of each spouse, length of the marriage, and whether one spouse did not work during the marriage.
If retirement benefits must be split, one spouse can provide the other spouse with the appropriate share in a lump sum or upon normal distribution. Alternatively, the spouse who must pay can choose to buy out the other spouse provided that this second party agrees. A spouse is also permitted to allow the other party to take property of equivalent value in lieu of retirement benefits to which he or she is entitled.
Divorce and property division are complex, making professional assistance helpful. A judge makes asset division decisions on a case-by-case basis. An attorney helps a client retain rights to property including retirement assets. After determining how much of the retirement and pension assets the other spouse is entitled to receive, the lawyer will help the client pursue the best course of action.
Thinking about all possible future scenarios can help married couples to structure retirement savings accounts in the correct way. Though a lawyer for marital property is still recommended in the event of a divorce, it will be easier to determine how much each spouse should receive. Legal guidance helps each party protect his or her rights to pensions, individual retirement accounts, and other retirement assets.