Cindy Allen & Associates PLLC

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Don't forget to divide the complicated marital assets

Most Oklahoma couples who are ending their marriages likely have a few major financial issues on their minds. They may be thinking about how they will divide tangible property like the marital home and cars as well as how to split bank account balances evenly. Reaching agreements about child and spousal support are often high on the list of priorities as well.

Some of the financial issues that divorcing spouses often overlook can be vitally important to their financial stability in the future. Some may forget to bring up the division of assets like retirement plans, deferred compensation and stock options because dividing those assets is much more complicated than splitting a bank balance.

If the higher-earning spouse has an employer-based retirement plan, the lower-earning spouse may be entitled to a portion of it in a divorce settlement. In fact, lower-earning spouses may argue that they should receive more than 50 percent of the value of the retirement plan due to their lower earning capacity. To divide an employer-based pension or 401(k), a divorcing spouse must obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Because these retirement benefits can be so vital, a divorcing spouse may want to take out an insurance policy on their soon-to-be ex-spouse before the QDRO is set up.

A divorce attorney may be able to help a person who is going through a high asset divorce to ensure that no money is left on the table at divorce negotiations. An attorney may help a spouse to evaluate all of the marital assets involved and determine which of the assets are the most important. Depending on a person's individual circumstances, there may be some assets that have tax implications that the person would rather avoid.

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