Many people who go through a divorce discover that there are huge number of important decisions to make. Some of the most pressing of these issues include child custody, child support, and how marital property will be divided. With these numerous concerns, it is common to overlook some lesser-known things that are impacted by the end of a marriage.
One of these is your retirement plan. This is an important concern because the state of Georgia views retirement accounts as part of marital property. You need to know how these accounts will be impacted by your divorce.
The Types of Retirement Accounts Impacted by Divorce
Because Georgia is classified as an equitable distribution state, the court divides assets from a marriage in a manner that the court deems to be fair as influenced by the needs as well as circumstances of both spouses. The property that is divided includes things like 401(k)s, IRAs, Roth IRAs, and pension plans. Only contributions that are made during the marriage count. If an individual had contributed to a 401(k) prior to marriage, however, these amounts would not be classified as marital property.
How Georgia Courts Divide Retirement Accounts
The goal of Georgia courts in property division is equitable distribution. Courts take a number of factors into consideration when deciding how to divide assets among a couple including the value of the property, what each spouse is likely to need in the future, the financial contributions that each made to the marriage, and bad behavior by each spouse during the marriage. In some situations, it is possible that a retirement account will be split between both spouses or sometimes that one spouse will receive a much smaller portion than the other spouse. In other situations, a Georgia court might decide that it is not necessary to divide a retirement account at all.
Other Important Issues to Consider
In addition to these basic considerations, there are some other important factors that you should keep in mind when it comes to splitting a retirement account. In some situations, the division of a retirement account might require the use of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The complexity of division of retirement accounts often varies based on the length of time that a couple has been married. Generally, the longer the marriage, the more complicated that attempting to understand the value of assets can be.
Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Many people count on retirement accounts being available in the future, and in full. Losing some or all of your retirement account during a divorce can substantially interfere with your plans for retirement.If you have questions or concerns about how your retirement plans will be impacted by divorce, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced divorce attorney. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation.