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Property division during a divorce includes retirement accounts

A person may have spent a significant portion of adult life saving with his or her partner in order to have an ample amount of funds for retirement. Perhaps one partner handled more of the household management while the other focused on earning income. Now, the person is facing divorce and is wondering what is fair for property division in Florida? Is there any way to prepare for such a change, also? 

There's simply no easy way to be ready for the end of a marriage, but if one is lucky enough to see it coming, then a person may wish to start putting away some extra cash for the inevitable expenses of divorce -- housing, furnishings, attorney fees, therapist fees, fees for the financial separation and more. These funds will be disclosed during the proceedings, but can be extremely helpful to a person who needs to start over. Cash flow can be a concern during the immediate aftermath of a divorce. 

For retirement funds such as IRAs, if there are multiple accounts, these can be split during the divorce decree. Some other accounts such as 401(k)s or other qualified plans, these can be split with the help of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). When split according to the guidelines, the individuals will not be hit with early withdrawal penalties. 

Social Security benefits are another factor for some couples to consider. If this all sounds like a lot to handle, one can rest assured that divorce and property division does not have to be faced alone. In Florida, many individuals find assistance with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance and support through the process. 

Source:, "How Divorce Affects Social Security and Retirement Accounts", Robert Powell, Dec. 15, 2017

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