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Options for splitting retirement plan assets during divorce

The division of assets that takes part in a divorce includes retirement accounts. People in Indiana who need to withdraw their share of retirement funds as part of a divorce settlement need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order approved by a judge for every 401(k) plan or other employer-sponsored savings plan or pension. This court order specifies how much money a person gets and makes it possible to shield the person from taxes and penalties as long as the money gets directly rolled into a new retirement plan.

Although state law and a court could guide the terms of the split, people have the option of working out their own terms. They might benefit from financial advice while making these decisions. A financial adviser could provide information about possible tax consequences.

Once the division of the account has been established, people can place their shares in new retirement accounts, delay a distribution or take the cash. A person's age could influence this decision because someone under the age of 59.5 or over 70.5 might be exposed to tax penalties. A delayed distribution entails leaving the share in the ex-spouse's account until the person reaches retirement age.

A person who has real estate, investments, business assets, inheritances or other financial accounts like cryptocurrencies might need legal guidance during complex property division. An attorney may connect a person with a qualified appraiser to establish property values. An attorney might also sort out claims to marital and nonmarital property and organize documentation illustrating a person's rights to certain assets. Knowledge of legal rights helps support a person during settlement negotiations with an ex-spouse. To protect the client's position, an attorney may manage negotiations or petition a court if discussions reach an impasse.

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