When you split your assets during a divorce, some may have a simple value you can divide. But with accounts that could grow, you may worry how a split affects your future wealth. Giving up a share of investment or retirement accounts now would mean you miss out on future earnings.
If you and your former spouse must split investment accounts, you may not want to sell and take the current cash value. Depending on how the accounts work, you might be able to divide the shares to ensure you keep earning.
You can divide retirement accounts without extra fees
Like most people, you and your spouse likely have retirement accounts. Whether you have a 401(k), an individual retirement account (IRA) or a pension, these will keep growing until you retire.
For many of these accounts, you may face taxes or fees if you take money out early. But after a divorce, you can split these assets without paying extra. For a 401(k) or a pension plan, you must obtain a qualified domestic relations order. This document is an order from the judge that your division is part of your divorce. For an IRA, you may just have to show your divorce decree.
By using these documents, you can transfer your share of your spouse’s account into your own 401(k) or IRA. The account holder must let you withdraw funds without charging fees.
If you both own investment shares, you can divide them without selling
If you and your former spouse have shares in an investment account, splitting those shares improperly may also result in unnecessary taxes. But like your retirement accounts, after a divorce, you can divide shares without tax consequences. By doing this, you can avoid selling all your shares and splitting the proceeds.
Making sure your money stays in investment accounts keeps it growing
When accounts keep growing, you don’t want to withdraw your investment. If you take your money out, you lose out on potential earnings. Your plan holder and the IRS may also charge you extra fees for withdrawing early.
With the proper documents, you can avoid these fees and keep earning money.