Don’t rush through the financial aspects of divorce

by | Sep 29, 2017 | divorce, Firm News

Sometimes when a couple in Dublin decides to end their marriage, both parties want to get the matter over with as quickly as possible. However, it is important to take the time to carefully address all divorce legal issues, particularly financial issues. This is because the outcome of the property division process and any award of spousal support can last for the rest of a person’s life. Therefore, it is in one’s best interests to make sure they understand the decisions they are making when it comes to spousal support the division of assets and debts in a divorce.

First of all, when it comes to the family home many people may be tempted to fight for it, in part due to its sentimental value. However, this doesn’t always make sense financially. Once you are the sole owner of the home, you are responsible for the mortgage, upkeep and taxes, all on one income instead of two.

Similarly, think carefully before agreeing to keep the family home in exchange for something of equal value, such as a retirement account. Again, keeping the home costs a person money in the end, so it’s important to make sure you can absorb such costs.

In addition, pay attention to how you divide a 401(k). In order to obtain your share of this type of account, it is necessary to submit a qualified domestic relations order. With this order in place, a person can take funds out of the account without incurring the 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal. That being said, a person might owe income tax unless, within 60 days, he or she moves the funds into an individual retirement account.

Also, if a spouse is receiving alimony — also known as spousal support — it may be to their benefit for the paying spouse to have a life insurance policy naming the receiving spouse as the beneficiary. After all, no one can anticipate when a death will occur, and without life insurance, once the paying spouse dies, so do the spousal support payments.

As this shows, the financial implications of a divorce can last well into the future, so it is important not to rush through them. A divorce attorney can help spouses going through a divorce understand the financial consequences of their choices, so they can make sound decisions.

Source: CNBC, “When it comes to divorce, not all assets are equal,” Sarah O’Brien, Sept. 22, 2017