Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

Handling the division of complex assets in your divorce case

When a partner first starts thinking about leaving his or her spouse, one of the first things thought about is how to divide up his and her belongings. Most commonly that involves deciding who's going to stay in the house, keep the cars or furniture and how they're going to split up the cash in the bank.

Couples are less apt to discuss how they're going to split up more complex marital assets, like artwork, retirement accounts or investment portfolios. Unless a spouse is working with either an accountant or attorney particularly attuned to complex financial matters, then it's likely many valuable assets will slip through the cracks.

While, on the surface, it may seem logical to split assets like this right down the middle, there are a number of reasons you should not. For moms that have taken time away from the workforce to rear the kids, they may have missed out on building their retirement nest egg. In contrast, their spouse may have been able to amass a high performing one himself.

While a wife laying claim to her ex's investment portfolio may initially sting, because he has a stronger work history, it will be easy for him to quickly rebuild it.

Before you make certain choices, though, it's important to take into consideration the tax implications of doing so. Taking money out of an investment account at one point in time may carry stiff tax penalties not too far down the road.

Similarly, certain choices you make may require you to have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QRDO) drafted before they can be divided. The QRDO tells the court who you and your spouse intend for benefits to be paid to and how it should be done.

While you're in the midst of hashing out your divorce with your spouse, you may benefit from purchasing an life insurance policy on your ex. It will helpful in protecting your financial interests should they prematurely die. At the same time, you may draft a will specifying what you wish to happen with your finances in the event something happens to you as well.

If you're considering getting divorced and you know there are a number of different assets you two share that are hard to value, then you may benefit from discussing the specifics of your case with a Naples, Florida, complex asset division attorney.

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing women: Don't lose out on funds you're entitled to," Jeff Landers, accessed Aug. 04, 2017

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