Financial and Property Division Articles
Financial and Property Division Article List
   
 
Most Popular Books Most Popular Resource: Distribution of the marital home often poses special problems in the process of marriage dissolution.
   

What Happens To Our Retirement After a Divorce? - In planning for your divorce, a look at the retirement accounts will typically show that these funds represent a good portion of a couple’s assets and savings. These can be in the form of 401K plans, IRAs, Thrift Savings Annuities and retirement pension plans. Division of these funds can be crucial to balancing a couple’s assets...
Equitable Distribution, Mortgages and You - So now it comes time to divorce and one of you wants to keep the house. But something tells me your soon to be ex isn’t going to be quite that keen on staying on the note and trusting you to live there and pay for it while they go off and get an apartment. So what do you do?...
Is Hiding Assets in Divorce a Good Idea? - If you’re going through a divorce, one thing you may be thinking is “why do I have to share what I’ve worked so hard for?” I mean after all, it was you who put that money in your 401(k) or who made the decision to invest in that new real estate venture that turned into a nice profit. Why should you give your soon to be ex any of it?...
What is a Marital Asset? - A lot of people feel stuck when it comes to dividing up the assets and monies during divorce. One person may want no part of a risky stock portfolio and more than 50% from the sale of the marital home or vice-versa. Another person may be okay sharing their investments, but not their pension. These issues can be negotiated between husband and wife in mediation. Divorce mediation allows you to divide up your marital assets according to your needs post-divorce. But what is a marital asset?...
Dividing Mutual Funds in Divorce – 3 Tips - If you’re like most divorcing couples, over the years you’ve amassed a variety of assets and liabilities; houses, cars, credit cards and, the subject of today’s post, mutual funds. And while the splitting of some assets is relatively easy, like checking and savings accounts, a mutual funds split in divorce is not
Money and Divorce - 5 Mistakes That Could Cost You Dearly - Without question, money and divorce are two things that are inevitably intertwined. Whether you like it or not, divorce is going to cost you. Just how much it costs you, however, can vary greatly. There are certain mistakes that might end up resulting in much more of a financial impact than necessary...
Divorce and Obamacare - Divorce is a qualifying life event which means you can enroll for health insurance once your divorce is finalized, even if it is after the Obamacare initial open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014. It does not matter if you have a pre-existing condition...
All Pensions Are Not Created Equal When Dividing Marital Assets in a Divorce - If you and your spouse are considering, or are in the process of divorce, and one or both of you has a corporate benefits or civil service, 401(k) savings and/or pension plan, know that all pensions are not created equal...
Plan to Address Life Insurance Issues During Divorce Process - While probably not immediately top of mind for most women considering divorce, carefully considering life insurance needs should be a part of the divorce process. In fact, women should gather all the information they can on what types of insurance coverage they and their children have even before filing for divorce...
How the Affordable Care Act May Affect Divorcing Couples - It is likely that at least one or possibly both of the parties will face the prospect of finding healthcare insurance for themselves and/or their children after the divorce. Since the ACA offers new rights, consumer protections and benefits such as free preventive care, couples also may wish to explore this new option for healthcare coverage going forward...
Fiscal Fitness - In Transition - As I write this article most of us are in the process of preparing to file our tax returns. It is also Women’s History Month. That being said, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on a few issues my female clients are currently dealing with...
Beneficiaries - When it comes to getting a divorce, do not DIY it. Most divorcing people actually agree on most issues, but it is best to use some professional help to develop your divorce agreement. A professional divorce mediator can ensure that you are covering the many issues in an efficient and cost-effective manner...
Valuing Stock Options in Divorce - The general rule in New York is that all property acquired during a marriage and before the commencement of a matrimonial action or signing of a Separation Agreement is subject to “equitable distribution.” In other words, marital property...
The Importance of Keeping an Updated Will - I want to share an estate case I handled for a young adult male. My client's mother and her boyfriend had bought a house together and in the hopes of protecting her share of the house for her son, without seeking the assistance of counsel, she arranged it so that the title on the deed declared that the mother and her boyfriend were "tenants in common."...
Decreasing Awards for Professional Licenses and Degrees - In the last decade, courts have taken a much more conservative approach when it comes to awarding a spouse a portion of the value of a professional license or degree earned by the other spouse during the marriage...
Estate Planning After Divorce - People who have just divorced or are contemplating divorce, need to think about revising their estate planning. Many people forget this important step in pre-divorce planning and post-divorce activities...
How to Separate Assets in a Divorce - When you have retirement and investment account assets in a divorce to divide, these accounts should be looked at as one whole big picture. Too many times each account is being split 50/50...
Transfer Of The House - When you get divorced and are taking the house as part of the divorce, there are no tax implications on the sale of the house if you have a lived in the house for two of the last five years and profit no more than $250,000 as a single person or $500,000 if you happen to sell as a married couple...
QDRO Review to Avoid Costly Errors - You made it through the negotiations and are ready to move on in your life. As part of the settlement you are to receive a portion of your spouse’s pension (defined benefit plan)...
QDROs - How ERISA Protects the Non-Employee - There is good news for the lower-earning spouse who is worried about receiving her share of the 401k or pension. Thanks to ERISA, special rules exist and eliminate an ex-spouse from standing in the way of receipt...
Asset Distribution Explained - When it comes to getting a divorce in Florida, one issue that commonly arises is that of asset distribution. Which assets are solely yours, and which assets belong to both you and your spouse?
Who Gets the Home? - In most cases, a divorcing couple considers their marital home to be their biggest asset - and the marital home continues to be one issue that is often contested. So how does a Florida divorce judge decide who gets to keep the home?
Fiscal Fitness - Don’t Make These Mistakes - Working closely with a Certified Financial Planner, CPA and estate planning attorney is well worth your time to avoid some of these costly and common mistakes...
Dividing Assets - Upon divorce, you and your spouse are selling everything you own to (a) each other, or (b) a third party...
Fiscal Fitness - Planning for the Unexpected - Welcome to the latest edition of Fiscal Fitness! As we head into 2012, reflect on the things that took place in 2011 and think, would things have been different had we done better planning?...
Property Rights - During the divorce process, your own non-marital property must be protected. Division of marital property is quite different from enforcing your rights to your own non-marital property...
10 Tips to Control Legal Fees During Divorce - Rely on your attorney for legal advice. Discussing your emotional state with your attorney may allow you to vent, but it is a very expensive therapy session...
10 Hidden Costs of Keeping the House After Divorce - If you want to stay in the marital home, you should consider more than just the mortgage, taxes and insurance expenses when reviewing your housing expenses...
College Saving Plans and Divorce - A 529 plan is simply a tax deferred college savings plan. The number 529 refers to the section of the IRS code that has established college savings plans. A 529 plan is a tax-free account that can be established up for the benefit of a child. When the time comes for the child to start attending college, then the money from the plan can be withdrawn...
Divorce for Seniors - Divorce can have a profound impact on your future retirement income and benefits. If you are divorced or thinking about it, you should know how divorce will impact your eligibility for Social Security benefits...
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: 11 Critical Financial Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce - Long after the wedding bells have faded, you may know someone who has come to a fork in the road and has decided to go in a different direction than his or her partner. Building a life with someone involves many things...
Daylight Tax Savings: Don't Get Caught Sleeping - As we head into another Autumn season and prepare to turn back our clocks, many folks are in the final stages of their divorce and are preparing to "spring forward" into their new post-divorce life. With all the distractions and mixed emotions that can be felt during this time...
Financial Fitness - As summer winds down, and the holidays approach, you may start to notice changes in the weather. Preparing for change in advance by adjusting your wardrobe is always prudent...
Help! How do I Pay for Christmas for the Kids During My Separation? - As the holiday season quickly approaches, many families are busy decorating the house, buying presents, and planning for out of town guests for the holidays. Many American families share in these common traditions. One other common tradition is spending more money than we have during the holidays...
40 Things You Don't Know About Divorce & Taxes that could Bankrupt You - This guide is designed to help you avoid pitfalls of the many tax consequences of getting a divorce. I believe that it is not always necessary to hire an attorney at exorbitant cost to complete your family law case successfully. This guide can be your starting place for saving as much as possible during your family law case...
The Advantages of a Truthful Financial Statement - The courts have a philosophy of open book discovery, which in short means that you need to fully disclose all of your finances and assets to the other side and to the court. It is interesting that during the courtship phase of marriage, in a traditional relationship, the he often picks up the tab while the she often graciously accepts...
5 Hidden Costs of Keeping the House After Divorce - 1. House appraisal minus mortgage balance does not equal equity to be divided between spouses. If you will keep the house, have a home inspection prior to signing the divorce papers to determine if expensive repairs are necessary. Did you remember to subtract the projected expenses needed to get the house ready to put on the market or closing costs from the value you assign the house?...
5 Most Common Money Mistakes in Divorce - 1. Understanding your monthly expenses. A complete monthly budget should have about 120 items. If yours does not have as many, you are probably forgetting something. Did you include your health insurance deductible, painting the exterior of your home (recommended every 5 years) and money to remove a fallen tree from your yard?...
5 Divorce Questions for Women - During your divorce you will be making the most important financial decisions of your life at a time when you are least able. Take the time to understand the numbers before you sign your divorce papers. Secure your future and your children's future. Don't just get a divorce. Get a smart divorce...
Contemplating Divorce in Today's Economy - Like it or not, the state of our economy is often a barometer for many of the daily emotions we experience. The markets are up and we are happy. The markets are down and so are we. Our country's current economic turmoil has so many of us on an emotional roller coaster. It is hard enough for intact families and even harder for those facing marital separation and divorce...
Divorce Wills - On occasion, a party to a divorce proceeding that is still pending will die by legitimate means. When this occurs, it can amount to a windfall for the other spouse and it can leave children from previous marriages out in the cold and very disgruntled...
Forensic Accounting Investigation in Divorce - When is it Warranted? - The sad fact is that almost 50% of all marriages end in divorce. It's also a fact that most marriages that end in divorce are in trouble long before the divorce petition is filed. This fact provides ample opportunity for either spouse to hide assets and income...
Handling a Divorce in Tough Economic Times - The decision to get a divorce is never easy. In the current recession, the decision is even harder to make as spouses look at their debts and wonder how they can make it financially without their partner, even if the marriage has become intolerable...
When Divorce Means Re-entering the Job Market - In working with divorcing couples, reemployment of an "at-home" spouse is a recurring theme. This is usually (but not always) the wife, who needs to enter the job market after the divorce...
Protecting Your Personal Finances Upon Divorce - Divorces are very complicated and can take a huge emotional toll on you. The last thing you need is for your divorce to be a financial disaster as well. One of the biggest questions on everyone's mind during a divorce is "How are we going to split our assets?...
Why is the Issue of Pre-owned Assets so Important in the World of Family Law? - The issue of the equitable distribution pre-owned assets always arises in many divorce cases wherein the parties were married later on in their life, or in second marriages...
Sailing Separate Property Through the Community Sea - Much has been written about community property, a characteristic that causes an equal division between divorcing couples. But, just as important is the identification of property that is owned by one of the spouses which will not be divided in the divorce...
A Crash Course on Handling Your Money - Volumes have been written on how to handle your finances. We are going to try and cover it all, so fasten your seat belts...
The Top Ways Your Spouse Can Hide Money Through His Work - Hiding your true income is an art form, and it is a major issue in more than one half of the family law cases that I encounter. A review of this set of FAQ'S will help you determine if your husband is hiding or lying about his true income. All husbands cry that they are broke during the divorce...
Don't Hide Your Assets During Your Divorce - Hiding assets from a spouse during a divorce is not only a sneaky thing to do it is also illegal. New Jersey family law provides that married people have a legal relationship known as a fiduciary duty from the from the time they get married until at least the moment when they are finally divorced...
Keeping Separate Property After You Get Married - I am getting married next month. I don't want to get a prenup, but I don't want to lose my life savings either if my marriage turns into a disaster. What can I do to protect my...
8 Divorce Mistakes That Could Cost You a Fortune - Financial and emotional challenges of divorce are frequently difficult. Making avoidable mistakes may well result in emotional and financial destruction...
Divorce and the Home - There are many questions about a marital residence that you may ask at the time of divorce. Here are the typical questions that arise and how they may be best addressed. To stay or not to stay, this is the question?..
Dividing Assets in Divorce, Percentage or Dollar Amount? - During Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) and the dividing of assets, there is an administrative detail known as "Valuation Date". The Valuation Date refers to the value of the assets on a certain day. This value is often used for the decisions regarding which assets are divided and how to divide them...
Developing a Budget for the Divorce Process - When most people hear the word, "Budget", they hear, "Diet." And nobody likes to be on a diet. However, developing a budget is a good planning tool for understanding your income needs. Some people divide their income needs into basic needs and lifestyle needs...
Divorce Myths, Mistakes and Myopia - In the course of my divorce financial and mediation practice, I have often had clients repeat some specific piece of information they received from a well-meaning relative or friend. In general, such information should be taken with a very large grain of salt, indeed...
What is a Monetary Award? - A monetary award is an order from the court giving to one party a financial award in an absolute divorce case. There is a three step process the court goes through to determine whether or nor a monetary award is appropriate...
Asset Division in Divorce - What About Tomorrow? - Right now, this year, more than ever before; working men and women are facing the long-term financial effects of failed marriages. What can you do today if you are separating assets, because of a divorce...
Family Law and the New Bankruptcy Code - There are several major changes that the new bankruptcy code hereinafter referred to as the BACPA has made on the practice of family law. All domestic support obligations are now classified first priority claims under section 507(a)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code...
A Global Perspective on a Domestic Relations Problem - Not just nation states are affected, family stability is eroding and children's security is jeopardized when unsophisticated spouses lose their marital rights as a result of sophisticated "divorce proofing"...
Dividing IRA Assets Upon Divorce - For many families, a significant portion of their wealth may be located within the couple's individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Should the family unit break down, it is therefore important to have an equitable and easy method to divide and transfer assets. Division of retirement assets can be a sticky problem and left to the court system...
What Can I Do to Keep Costs Down? - Don't make your attorney justify every single decision. We're happy to do it, but it takes time, and time costs you money. The point is not for you to acquire a law school education. The point is to represent your interests with excellence and efficiency...
Credit Scoring - The Unseen Financial Danger in Divorce - During the holidays, it is important for divorcing couples to restrain from excessively using credit cards if payments are ultimately destined to acrimonious negotiation, delays, or "held hostage" over custody arrangements. The increasing use of credit scoring by banks, insurance companies and merchants is proving a dangerous trend for many women, especially those in the midst of a divorce...
How to Protect a Business in Event of Divorce - The value of your business may be included in a divorce settlement. Under Pennsylvania law, marital property is defined as all property acquired from the date of the marriage until the date of separation, including property that is titled in only one person's name and including any increase in value in property acquired before the marriage...
Dividing Pensions in Divorce: Errors Made Can Be Costly - One of the biggest marital property assets divided in a divorce is the pension. Pension plans (also known as Retirement Plans) fall under two categories: Qualified and non-qualified. Those qualified pension retirement plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), such as defined benefit plan pensions defined contribution plans--401(k), 403(b) tax sheltered annuities, thrift savings plans, some profit sharing and money purchase plans...
Divorce and Social Security Benefits - This article is a brief overview of the Social Security system and the benefits available to a divorced spouse. For ease of writing, references will be made to the dependent spouse as being the wife. The law applies equally to the husband...
Ten Ways to Save on Legal Costs in Divorce - Divorce is wrought with cost. The emotional cost of a failed relationship. The cost to children living in a two home family. The cost of maintaining two households. Then, of course, there is the cost of a lawyer. At hundreds of dollars per hour, legal fees in a divorce can easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars. The fact of the matter is that competent legal representation is expensive...
Mortgage Issues - Refinancing in Divorce - After a lengthy legal process Sandra and Michael just concluded their divorce. As part of their divorce decree, the Courts order awarded Michael the house and required Michael to pay the outstanding joint mortgage balance...
Real Estate/Homestead Divisions - In a divorce, one of the most difficult issues is often what happens to the house the family lives in or other real estate. There are a number of options that must be considered when determining how real estate is to be divided in a divorce...
Dividing Deferred Compensation Plans - Deferred compensation refers to pension plans, 401K plans, IRAs and other retirement assets.  Such plans are divisible as part of a property settlement in divorce regardless of which party is named on the plan. How they are divided depends on the value and nature of the asset...
Credit-Debt Division and Divorce - Divorce can have devastating financial consequence. During a marriage, you learn to budget based on a "family" income and on "family" debts. Some of the monthly expenses remain constant like mortgages and car loan payments. After a divorce, that budget changes. Income must now be stretched to cover expenses related to two residences instead of one...
Employee Stock Options and Divorce - As the stock market continues to rise, divorce attorneys are involved in more and more cases involving stock options. The grant of stock options to key employees is now common in high technology companies and is becoming popular in many other industries as part of an overall equity compensation strategy...
Dividing Retirement Assets Upon Divorce - Retirement plans often constitute a material asset to be divided in a divorce. Several approaches that can be used to divide retirement assets (without being currently taxable) are as follows...
Forensic Accounting in a Divorce - While most people are not inherently dishonest, divorce sometimes brings out the worst instincts in some spouses. The average financial crime is motivated purely by the perpetrator's desire for financial gain. The motivations to be dishonest in a divorce environment are often more complicated...
Preserving Separate Property Between Separation and Trial Dates - The time period between the filing for divorce and the permanent orders hearing is often six months to several years. If a party to a divorce has a material amount of separate property at the date the divorce is filed, it is especially important to preserve this separate property until the permanent orders hearing...
Asset Tracing to Establish the Existence of Separate Property in a Marital Dissolution - Under Colorado's Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act, separate assets are not subject to equitable distribution. Therefore, a spouse who can establish that assets are separate, to the court's satisfaction, gets to keep them...
What Does Equitable Distribution Mean? - In the United States, a few states, influenced by their French or Spanish heritage, have the continental system of community property (50-50), which essentially means that property or assets acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage, except for gifts from third parties, belong equally to the husband or wife...
Women in the Divorce Process - Whenever possible, we strongly recommend that both spouses attempt to work together and, through a divorce financial professional, negotiate their own settlement of marital assets, debts, alimony and child support...
Why CPA's Ask for Certain Documents in Divorce Cases - Most forensic accountants begin their assignments by preparing a list of documents needed. Attorneys sometimes respond to these requests by calling them overburdensome and excessive. This article will explain some of the reasons why those documents are being requested...
How CPA's Analyze Financial Statements in Dissolution (Divorce) Cases - What do forensic accountants look for when they review financial statements of a business provided to them by counsel? What are the signs that there are irregularities taking place? What are the typical types of financial statements?
Gray Areas in Gross Income Available Calculations - There are certain issues that affect the calculation of what is available for spousal and child support that are theoretically unclear. This article will present a few of them, showing the logic behind various positions...
Private/Public Stock in the Marital Estate - With the preeminence of options in the corporate world, and the emergence of "reporting" but non-listed corporations [often those issuing "junk bonds" to the investing public,] private company analysis, research and valuation can now rely more than before on the tools developed by analysts of public securities. A recent Business Valuation assignment of mine made this particularly clear...
Overview of the Psychology of Money - For almost all the couples I provide divorce mediation services to, ongoing quarrels and differences over money are frequently cited as one of the primary reasons for their marriage problems...
Property Distribution FAQs - If you and your spouse are able to agree about the division of your property, then your arrangement will be documented with a separation agreement. If you are unable to agree, it will be necessary for you to go to court. The court will not decide your property distribution case for a period of time as the litigation process moves forward...
Check Your Credit - One inexpensive task I recommend that all divorcing couples do early in the divorce process is to check their credit reports to ensure that there are no surprise debts or credit lines. In my own divorce, I uncovered credit cards that were in my name that I was not aware of...
50 Vital Documents - Most of the information you need regarding real estate will be obtained from these records including type of real estate owned, location, debt associated with this real estate, any co-owners and taxes outstanding...
Distribution of Marital Property - Marriage is an economic contract and economic partnership. Everything you and your spouse buy or acquire during the marriage is legally owned by the two of you and is marital property. It makes no difference in whose name you buy or acquire an asset. It does not matter whose money was used to purchase the asset...
Equitable Distribution- Dividing the Assets - Marital property is divided in New Jersey under what is known as equitable distribution. Equity is a term for fairness and the Court can make any fair allocation and distribution. The factors which the Court must consider are: (a)The duration of the marriage; (b)The age and physical and emotional health of the parties; (c)The income or property brought to the marriage by each party...
Equitable Distribution Law - Effective July 19, 1980, New York joined the ranks of many other states and became an equitable distribution state. The new law, known as the "Equitable Distribution Law", is actually an amendment to S236 of the Domestic Relations Law and, among other things, changes the concept of property and distribution of property upon dissolution of a marriage. Much of the new law was patterned after the Equitable Distribution Law enacted many years earlier in New Jersey...


Suggested Reading
The Property Division Handbook The Property Division Handbook
This book will explain in detail the property distribution aspect of divorce and separation. It will focus on the rights each spouse has under certain laws, situations, and circumstances, and how the division of the property will be decided by the court or through negotiation.

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COMMUNITY PROPERTY VERSUS EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION -- There are two basic ways to handle divorce property division: Community Property: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico are community property states. This means that all marital property is typically defined as community property or separate property. When divorcing, community property is typically divided evenly, and each spouse keeps his or her separate property. Equitable Distribution: All other states follow equitable distribution. This means that a judge decides what is equitable, or fair, rather than simply splitting the property in two. In practice, this may mean that two-thirds of the property goes to the higher earning spouse, with the other spouse getting one-third.

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