No matter what types of assets you have accumulated in your marriage, it is often difficult to know exactly how to divide them. Rarely do couples leave a marriage with exactly what they took into it, even when they have a strong prenuptial agreement. Couples tend to amass certain assets while they are together, and these must be divided equitably when they separate.
However, some assets may be deemed more important than others. For example, your retirement fund may be a much more important asset to leave intact than the furniture or vehicles you accumulated during your marriage. It may be difficult to part with some things, but leaving your retirement fund intact is often preferable to keeping items considered marital property, even if you must sell them and divide the proceeds.
How do you know whether you should make an equitable exchange with your former spouse in order to keep your retirement? Every case is different, but here are some basic guidelines to consider:
- Think about the length of time you have been saving. If you have built a great deal of capital in your retirement fund, you may lose more than the initial disbursement by splitting it with your ex. The power of compounding interest means that the larger your account, the more you have to lose and the longer it will take you to rebuild your capital if you split with your former spouse. It may be best to run two different financial scenarios and see which is more profitable: splitting your retirement fund or offering your ex some other asset of equal value.
- Think about your future. If you are under 30, splitting your retirement fund is not that difficult. You have plenty of time to make up that loss. However, if you are over 50, you could seriously affect your income for the remainder of your life by disbursing your retirement fund.
- Think about the other assets you have available. If you have other assets such as cash that you can offer in place of a retirement account, you may want to do so. On the other hand, if you are seriously handicapped by a lack of disposable assets, splitting your retirement fund could make sense.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are here to work with you and help you find the answers you need to get through your divorce without losing all of your hard-earned money.