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Watch out for retirement account divorces in Michigan

On Behalf of | May 16, 2022 | Divorce, Property Division |

Those who are more advanced in years may want to have a different approach to dividing their assets in a divorce than younger couples because they often have different things to think about. But this process is also different because of what these couples don’t have to think about.

Things like child support and custody aren’t usually an issue because most of the time, small children aren’t in the mix, as is more often the case with those who were more recently newlyweds or those who got married at a younger age.

While there are certain things you don’t have to worry about in this type of situation, there are certain actions to avoid. Knowing what these missteps are can be a big help in ensuring that you don’t make them.

The most substantial asset that comes into play in a divorce proceeding is usually the retirement accounts, with the exception of the house that the couple lived in. In cases where both parties have their own retirement account, the balance of these two accounts when combined factor in with the rest of the couples’ assets, financial experts say.

The account type is a key factor

The methodology for asset division with retirement accounts varies. These rules tend to be complex, making it easy to make a mistake in the process if you’re not an expert. One of the main factors is the account type, some of the most common being:

  • IRAs
  • 401(k)s
  • Pensions

As far as difficulty goes, pensions are notoriously hard to split up in a divorce. The reason for this is the fact that the value of a pension account isn’t as precise as something like a 401(k). But when dividing either a 401(k) or pension, a QDRO – qualified domestic relations order – is required for the account transfer to occur.