Dividing property is one of the biggest issues a couple must address when going through a divorce. There are proactive steps that you can take to help better ensure marital property is split fairly.
Three examples include:
- Remember the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Whenever money is transferred, the IRS generally gets involved. This can be the case during a divorce as well. As a result, it is wise to consider any potential tax implications of a proposed settlement before signing off on the proposal. This is particularly true when it comes to agreeing on how to split retirement assets.
- Check if you need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Speaking of retirement assets, many require the use of a special court order to ensure that a non policy holder receives payment. Without this document, referred to as a QDRO, a plan administrator may not provide payments to an ex-spouse. A divorce settlement agreement is often not enough to meet this obligation.
- Consider the unexpected. A recent piece in Forbes discussed this issue, noting that it is wise to prepare for unforeseen events. If, for example, you rely on spousal support payments it may be wise to have a life insurance policy on your ex. This policy can also help provide financial compensation if retirement benefits are put in jeopardy due to the death of an ex.
These steps help to better ensure a fair property division determination. However, it is important to note that these are only a few of the many issues that can arise during a divorce proceeding. Additional property division issues that can develop can involve navigating business interests, real estate holdings and other complex assets. In these situations, it is wise to contact an experienced property division lawyer to better ensure your interests are protected.