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Keeping retirement assets in mind when it comes to divorce

While individuals going through the process of divorce may wish to just get it over with, it is still important to make certain that any property division is conducted properly.  The division of retirement assets can in particular be important.  These retirement assets can well be the largest asset that a couple has and it's therefore important not to make any mistakes when it comes to dividing these up.

It's certainly important to make sure that specific details are not missed that could possibly leave a spouse without anything.  Perhaps even more importantly, promising the other spouse a specific amount when it comes to a retirement account could become problematic if that particular account happens to lose a significant amount of value.

There can also be tax implications that come along when it involves the splitting of retirement accounts.  An incorrect transference for example could result in the distribution being treated differently by the IRS than one would anticipate.  Also following a divorce one will want to make certain that any beneficiary designation of an account actually is in accordance with one's desires.

In Pennsylvania, many different considerations are taken into account when it comes to the division of assets.  This can include the length of the marriage, the economic circumstances of both spouses, the child custody arrangements that have been made, etc.  Since the process of asset division can be so complex, it's always a good idea for anyone going through the divorce process to first speak to a seasoned family law attorney before making any property division determinations.

Source: Business Day, "How to divide your retirement assets in a divorce," Dec. 31, 2013

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