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Retirement accounts an important part of property division

Perhaps one of the most difficult decisions a person in New Jersey might have to make in their lifetime is to seek a divorce.  Once that decision has been made, the former couple will have many other ones to make. If there are minor children, for example, they must decide on custody arrangements and child support. However, there are many issues related to property division that must also be decided. With all that, some say that it is important not to overlook retirement accounts.

Some reports indicate that many people in America who have worked have some sort of retirement savings account. For people who have switched jobs, there may be multiple accounts. During divorce, a spouse may be entitled to some of those funds. After all of the different accounts are first identified, you and your spouse must decide how they will be split.

Although some accounts are governed by state law and others by federal, an accountant or your attorney can help you determine how much the accounts are worth and how they should be sdivided. However, you could simply use the amount as a negotiation. For example, if it's determined that you would receive $500,000 if the retirement funds were divided, you may decide to take other assets worth approximately the same amount.

Once the amount is determined and you and your spouse decide to divide the accounts, your attorney will need to create a document called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order due to the different legal issues surrounding retirement accounts. The division of retirement accounts and a resulting QRDO may seem complicated. However, an experienced attorney in New Jersey can help you determine how much you deserve and ensure that all legal documents are in place as well as with other aspects related to property division.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The #1 Most Overlooked Divorce Asset", Daniel Sentell, Oct. 2, 2014

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