THE DIVISION OF RETIREMENT BENEFITS IN DIVORCE: The How and Why
Negotiating a settlement is often the most complex and emotionally heated aspect of the divorce process. The terms marital separation agreement (MSA) and property settlement agreement (PSA) are often used interchangeably. Through mediation, the terms Memorandum of Understanding or Points of Agreement are utilized.
A comprehensive settlement agreement may address several factors, including but not limited to:
- division of property;
- marital vs. non-marital assets;
- continuation/discontinuation of health insurance;
- tax claims for minors and other issues;
- disposition of pension plans and 401k assets;
- child support payments;
- tuition payments;
- custodial rights and visitation;
- use, sale or assignment of marital home;
- property settlements; and
- division of debts.
While it can be difficult to arrive at an equitable financial settlement, working with an experienced divorce financial mediator can streamline the process. It may also alleviate the process of undergoing an expensive and protracted litigation process.
At Divorce Financial Solutions, we believe it is vitally important that jointly negotiated separation agreements are equitable to both parties. Both parties should feel comfortable with the settlement that has been reached. A lawyer will be able to provide you with legal advice relating to your divorce and a division of marital property and can draw up the necessary legal contracts for your property settlement. However, due to licensing requirements to offer certain financial products, as well as a lack of formal training in financial matters, attorneys may not be able to offer insight into the potential long-term financial implications of your proposed property settlement. We can work with you and an attorney to ensure that you both gain a better understanding of the financial aspects of a division of marital property.
The financial implications of a divorce are quite serious, which is why it is so important to approach negotiations with verifiable facts in hands to help prevent emotions from ruling the process. A CDFA® will be able to examine the parties’ assets during divorce and to develop a full picture of all marital assets that must be distributed. At Divorce Financial Solutions, Veralynn is also qualified to act as a financial mediator to help separating spouses in a neutral role to navigate and construct the Points of Agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding in an amicable and mutually beneficial manner.
Our Certified Consultant for divorcing parties, Veralynn Morris, has more than three decades of experience providing financial guidance for divorcing parties in in the following Maryland jurisdictions: Frederick, Washington, Allegany, Garrett, Howard, Carroll, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Anne Arundel, St. Mary’s, Baltimore and Harford Counties.
With her extensive background in investment and financial planning, Veralynn takes a personal interest in every case to help plan for your immediate and long-term financial security. She zealously provides effective advocacy for the best interests of individual clients. Veralynn also creates solutions that are beneficial to all parties, when she has either facilitated or directly participated in joint, collaborative mediation.
Veralynn is not, however, an attorney, and cannot provide advice to anyone regarding the legal implication of a marital property settlement. If you have legal questions about marital property settlement, you should consult an attorney. Remember, a trained CDFA® provides financial solutions and the navigation of the financial elements of divorce.