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Property division complexities during a divorce

Maryland couples who are facing divorce might be heading into the process with differing degrees of financial knowledge and power. Keeping this in mind might make property division more equitable. For example, spouses with more earning power may be able to more easily replenish their retirement accounts while lower earners might struggle to do so. Therefore, splitting the retirement accounts equally in half may not be the best approach.

Certain types of retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and pensions, require the execution and submission of a document known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order before they can be divided. This is a complex process that may require professional assistance. People should also find out how their retirement account will be taxed. If one person has to pay a large sum in taxes on a certain type of account, then a 50/50 split may also not be appropriate.

Another consideration is what may happen if one person dies before the divorce is finalized. A person who is concerned about how responsible an ex might be with children's funds if they pass away may want to appoint someone to manage those funds while the children are minors. An individual might also want to take out a life insurance policy on their spouse in case they die before the QDRO is complete.

A high-asset divorce might make the process of property division even more complex. One spouse might think the other is hiding assets in offshore accounts or in some other way, and a closer investigation of finances may be warranted. Having the assistance of a family law attorney who could recommend a forensic accountant could be advisable in such an event.

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