Divorce requires a division of marital assets in Pennsylvania, and both spouses must disclose their financial records as part of the process. Because divorces among older people have become increasingly common, many people pursuing divorce could have multiple assets and retirement savings accounts to consider. To begin, people should make a list of all accounts and assets, including inherited funds. Inherited funds could be exempt from property division, but the issue could be complicated if the money went into a joint account with the spouse.
To avoid forgetting about old accounts, people need to review their records from previous jobs. They might discover forgotten profit sharing plans or stock options. The terms for splitting every 401(k) or pension plan needs to be stated in a divorce settlement. Uncovering every detail is important because assets missed during the creation of a divorce settlement could trigger legal disputes in the future.
For people who have been married at least 10 years, they need to consider Social Security benefits. They could be eligible to draw benefits based on earning from ex-spouses. The Social Security Administration could provide precise information about applying for these benefits.
A person might choose to seek advice from an accountant and attorney when making financial decisions during a divorce. Financial advice could include learning about tax consequences from the distribution of retirement accounts or sale of marital real estate. An attorney might advocate for the person's rights during negotiations with the former partner. With legal representation, a person might maintain a focus on long-term consequences of decisions and resist emotional choices that could cause financial harm. If a dispute cannot be resolved privately, an attorney may strive to defend the person's interests in court when a judge decides how to split assets.