Many divorce cases in New York are complicated. For couples who have been married many years and have accumulated significant wealth, dividing assets becomes even more complicated, even if the divorce is friendly. If you and your spouse are considering splitting up, you should concentrate on five key areas to help keep as much of your assets as possible intact.
What assets need top consideration?
Anyone considering a divorce should consider these broad categories: the family house, retirement accounts, taxable investment accounts, health insurance, and life insurance. Besides those key areas, you’ll also want to provide for any minor children you may have. Each category will have a different effect on your future wealth when determining you to equitably split them with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
The most obvious asset to split is the family home. Do one of you keep it or sell it, and if the latter, who gets the proceeds? Consider getting an appraisal of your property and devise a post-divorce budget to determine whether you should keep it or downsize.
Concerns about financial instruments
Be careful when splitting retirement accounts as these financial instruments have specific forms that you need to complete. IRAs and health savings accounts require a “transfer incident to divorce” form as well as a copy of the divorce decree before you can divide them. Taxable investment accounts are also tricky to divide because of the taxes you may have to pay in doing so.
Insurance and Social Security considerations
Who gets the health insurance is particularly important if one spouse doesn’t work. You’ll also want to ensure that minor children remain covered. The cost of life insurance can be included in alimony payments, while unmarried ex-spouses can claim Social Security under certain conditions once they reach age 62.
High net worth doesn’t mean high losses
The goal of any divorce is to protect your assets as much as possible. Careful planning can help eliminate unnecessary losses.