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Careful planning can protect retirement monies after divorce

No matter the circumstances, the end of a marriage effects on one's personal, emotional and financial life. However, though the emotions may have to be endured, there ways one can mitigate the harm his or her finances sustain during and after a divorce. While California laws dictate how property is divided, one can work to preserve retirement options in the future.

One of the first things that may be useful is to attempt to draw up a settlement plan with the former spouse. Though the division of certain retirement accounts is not always straightforward, being on the same page may be in both parties' best interests. Whether an accord can be reached, one of the first steps to determine an equitable split is to total the assets that both parties own. Once an accurate assessment has been made, it is up to the needs of the parties to decide the best approach to divide the accounts.

The types of accounts do make a difference in how and in what amounts taxes are assessed. In order to arrive at a settlement that would be most beneficial and would preserve these resources as much as possible, it is helpful to ensure that the divorce documents include all of the details related to how accounts will be spilt and in what manner the remaining assets will be handled. In addition, if the marriage has lasted at least a decade, a wife may be entitled to receive up to half of her former spouse's Social Security allotment. If the 10-year mark is approaching, it may be worth the emotional strain to wait to file for a divorce until that anniversary has been reached.

While a dissolution can take a toll on one's finances, the harm does not have to be permanent. There are many ways to restore one's losses and get back on track towards a retirement lifestyle that one hopes to attain. If a divorce has taken place later in life, then the assistance and guidance of an experienced California divorce attorney may prove to be invaluable in order to ensure that one's financial life thrives going forward.

Source:, "How to Protect Your Retirement Savings During Divorce", Sarah Szczypinski, Sept. 2, 2017

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