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Remember retirement accounts during a divorce

When going through a divorce, many people are focused on more immediate concerns regarding things like finances and child rearing. This means that potential retirement issues are not given much thought, but divorce can take a toll on retirement assets even if a couple is still relatively young. Texas residents might like to know about some retirement accounts to think about during a divorce.

When dividing retirement accounts during a divorce, a qualified domestic relations order may be needed. This is a relatively complex document, so professional help may be required when dividing assets this way.

Individual retirement accounts technically only belong to one person but can still be considered a martial property if the assets in the account were acquired during a marriage. This could make all or part of an account joint property. There may be positives and negatives to keeping the entirety of an IRA after a divorce.

Pensions work similarly to IRAs in that they can count as joint property. However, even assets earned before a marriage could be subject to division with a pension. When keeping a pension together, other assets could be exchanged for the value that a spouse is entitled to.

If a couple has been married for 10 years or more, spouses could be entitled to half of the other partner's Social Security benefits. Each spouse still retains his or her own benefits. While some concerns relating to Social Security benefits may be negotiable, this part is automatically guaranteed.

In addition to retirement accounts, other assets may be subject to division during a divorce. This might include real estate, business interests and joint physical property. If marital assets are spent on separate property, an asset may become subject to division. A divorcing individual may wish to consult an attorney with questions regarding property division.

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