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Financial professionals can help divide retirement assets

When couples in Arizona divorce, they may have to decide how to divide retirement assets. Retirement plans can be a particularly complex area of financial planning; therefore, may be in the best interests of a spouse to bring in a financial planner who has extensive knowledge of retirement plans and the ramifications of divorce.

It is not unusual for divorcing couples to want to complete their divorces quickly. They may choose to take a "common sense" approach to the division of assets. However, some retirement-related financial products, such as IRAs, 401(k)s and pensions are not well understood by laypeople. What may seem to be a straightforward division could have significant tax repercussions for a spouse years after the divorce is final.

When couples do have retirement assets, the general approach is to draw up a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This document ensures that the spouse's divorce agreement is reflected in how retirement funds are eventually handled and dispersed by management companies and banks. Spouses who wish to ensure that they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement may wish to bring a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst onto their divorce team. This is one way of ensuring that all aspects of one's retirement plan are considered before making a final agreement about asset division.

Individuals who are concerned about divorce issues, including retirement planning, may benefit from also speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's case and make recommendations regarding property division, child custody and spousal support. An attorney may also be able to make recommendations about working with financial professionals who can address specific needs and concerns.

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