Hidden assets to look for in a divorce

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in High Asset Divorce on Friday, January 31, 2014.

People in Maryland who are considering a divorce probably have concerns about how getting a divorce could impact them financially. These are legitimate concerns, since the impact of going from a two-income household to a single income household, or even a single-income household to a no-income household, can be tremendous. Some divorced people may be eligible for alimony and child support for the care of the family's children in the months and years after the divorce, but in order to start off on the right foot, divorcing spouses need to make the most of the assets they receive as part of the property division.

When most people think about their property interests, their first thoughts are probably about the family's house, cars, jewelry and other expensive assets. But most families have assets they don't think about very often, simply because they aren't actively relying on them. But it's these assets, which often go unnoticed in plain sight, that can be the most important to secure in a complex divorce.

One major example is retirement accounts and pensions. These accounts are meant to provide a nest egg for retirees once they have left the work force, but are accumulated throughout the working life of a person. If a spouse accumulates these pension or retirement benefits during the course of the marriage, odds are very good that they will be considered marital property, and will be subject to equitable division when a couple divorces.

But understanding how much these accounts are really worth can be tricky and people may need help in order to unlock their real value to the divorcing spouse. Compound interest and appreciating dollar values on prospective income streams like retirement accounts and pensions can make a difference of tens of thousands or more, so, like anything in a divorce, it's worth taking a closer look.

Source: The Huffington Post "Three Costly Divorce Settlement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them," Christian Denmon, Jan. 21, 2014