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Retirement accounts and other investments in a divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 5, 2019 | Divorce

Getting a divorce can mean dealing with complex investments for some couples in Arizona. It is necessary to understand the restrictions around splitting these investments or withdrawing from them early since doing so can incur significant taxes and penalties. In some couples, one person is largely responsible for managing the money. This can leave the other person at a disadvantage in case of a divorce, and that person should get information on the assets that are owned jointly and individually.

For people who are concerned that a soon-to-be-ex-spouse will take action with those assets without consultation, such as withdrawing a large sum or making an investment, they might want to freeze the assets. It may be best to work with legal and financial professionals during property division. These professionals might be able to advise divorcing people about various potential pitfalls. For example, there could be capital gains taxes on selling some assets, such as securities.

Most types of retirement plans have specific rules about how they should be split in the event of a divorce. For an IRA, this can mean submitting a divorce decree to the custodian of the IRA. For a 401(k) or 403(b), it is necessary to have a document known as a qualified domestic relations order.

Other assets, such as a home, can create complications as well. Even seemingly simple solutions, such as selling the home and splitting the proceeds, will mean that a number of questions must be asked. For example, there might be necessary repairs or upgrades before the home can be put on the market, and the couple will have to decide who will pay for them. If the house does not sell right away, they will also need to decide how to cover expenses while it is on the market.