Divorce can entail a lot of negotiation, which may not always be amicable. Divorcing couples in Arizona need to make many decisions relating to finances, and remembering everything may be quite difficult. Not only must the couple reach an agreement about child support, alimony and what happens with the house, but also what to do with all other joined possessions. It is no wonder that retirement accounts are often forgotten when it comes to divorce.
Most employed people have some form of retirement account, and it may add up to quite an amount of money. A spouse is entitled to a portion of the retirement funds in a divorce. Therefore, it is important for persons in the midst of a divorce to ensure that they get all the information they need about the other party’s retirement accounts.
Should the divorce be amicable, it is as easy as asking for the information. However, if you are not on friendly terms, you will have to find other ways. A lawyer can contact all employers your spouse has worked for to inquire about retirement accounts. In some cases, companies may not provide the information without a court order. This should not deter you.
Next, you will have to decide how to split these accounts. The type of retirement account will determine the way it is legislated, and your Phoenix divorce lawyers can help you work out the details. Generally, the money accrued during the marriage will be divided evenly between the two parties. It is imperative that the agreement is documented by a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, as special legal requirements exist for retirement benefits, and you cannot rely on a divorce agreement alone.
An Arizona couple going through a divorce does not have to split retirement benefits. The monetary value of the benefit can be calculated and used in negotiations. After a valuation by an actuary, you can receive assets of the same value. For example, if the house has the same value as the retirement fund, one party may want the house and the other the retirement fund. Your Phoenix divorce lawyers will have the ability to assist you in making the best decision in your situation.
Contact Our Phoenix Divorce Lawyers
For more on retirement accounts during a divorce, contact our Phoenix divorce lawyers can help. Call the Law Offices of Janice M. Palmer, P.C. at (480) 820-4771 or toll-free at (888) 352-7725 for a consultation.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The #1 Most Overlooked Divorce Asset“, Daniel Sentell, Oct. 2, 2014