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True or False: My Wife Can’t Touch My Retirement

In Separation & Divorce, Wealth by Elizabeth Stephenson

Divorce is the worst. It really is a shock to the system in a lot of ways. There is an enormous emotional toll that accompanies the end of your valued relationship. If you are a father and your family’s breadwinner, there is the uncertainty of what will happen with your children, whether you have the strength to guide them through this experience, and the prospect of seeing them a lot less than you ever have before. Further, there is a financial toll. If you have traditionally been the primary source of income for your home, then you understand that you are about to spend a lot of money on attorneys fees, will have to split marital assets in half, and will likely have to pay alimony and child support. With …

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How Retirement Impacts a Divorce

In Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Retiring comfortably is the dream for many American couples. We work hard, try to send the kids to college, and make long-term investment decisions so that one day we can stop working and enjoy ourselves. Even if just one spouse was employed, the law views retirement benefits earned during a marriage as marital property. This is because the spouse who made a career sacrifice to manage the home and raise the children allowed the other spouse the opportunity to earn money for retirement. Valuing and equitably dividing retirement benefits are an incredibly important aspect of the divorce process. This is because retirement benefits generally constitute one of the most valuable assets that make up the marital estate. If you think about your parents or friends who have retired, many primarily …