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Divorce, property division and retirement

Divorce rates have been on the decline for most age groups in New Jersey and elsewhere around the country with the exception of one group, those over 50 years old. Among older Americans divorce has actually seen an increase. Of course, it comes with property division issues at any age, but these concerns can be particularly tricky for older Americans.

Retirement planning is one area of concern. There are several different kinds of accounts that can be used for retirement, and it is important to understand the options when considering divorce. An IRA account is in only one name but is still typically considered marital property. Pensions and other retirement and investment accounts are also generally considered marital property. In addition, Social Security payments can also be impacted depending on how long one was married and whether or not one's spouse worked during the marriage.

Another item that throws people for a loop is the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). While items listed above are familiar to most people, this one might not be. The QDRO is necessary before pensions and certain other retirement accounts, like 401(k)s, can be properly divided in a settlement.

A person in New Jersey who is contemplating divorce typically benefits by seeking the counsel of an experienced family law attorney. The laws and rules around the QDRO, Social Security benefits and other financial matters can be intricate. A knowledgeable attorney can advise the client on the available options and assist in negotiating a fair and comprehensive settlement.

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