Women missing out on marital assets during property division

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Property Division on Thursday, July 17, 2014.

People in Maryland may have seen a recent financial editorial article in Forbes, which discussed some of the issues that women, especially women nearing retirement age, may run into, if they get a divorce. Most people realize that they are entitled to an equitable share of all property obtained during the marriage under Maryland divorce laws, but some people may overlook some of the most lucrative marital assets, which may be hidden in plain: 401(k)s, pensions, Social Security benefits and other retirement accounts.

According to a recent survey, it seems that a lot of spouses may have made the same costly mistake by failing to consider their spouse's retirement accounts in their divorce asset division settlement. The survey showed that 31% of all divorced spouses did not attempt to claim a share of these retirement assets, and did not know that they were even able to do so. So long as the retirement assets are accrued during the course of the marriage, odds are that each spouse is entitled to their fair share of them.

With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, spouses should be able to take full advantage of all of the marital property to which they are entitled. For many spouses, these retirement assets are crucial to future comfort and financial stability. Living on a single income can be very difficult for couples who have been married for a significant period of time. This transition to single life may mean making some difficult financial choices unless the spouse works with their attorney to secure these assets.

This is especially true for older divorcees, as they have fewer years to rebuild a lifetime of retirement savings. It may not always be pleasant, but spouses need to protect their rights during these crucial asset division negotiations and litigation. It may mean the difference between a happy retirement and a lifetime of financial uncertainty.

Source: Forbes, "The Big Money Mistake Divorcing Women Make," Kerry Hannon, July 3, 2014