Protecting What Matters Most

Managing a portfolio after a marriage ends

New York residents who are going through a divorce are encouraged to take steps to minimize the financial damage that it can cause. Those who believe that they may be getting a divorce soon are also encouraged to think about how the end of their marriages could impact their finances. Ideally, individuals will get their hands on brokerage account statements or other financial documents that may be in their name.

Doing so can make it easier to determine how the accounts are structured as well as help a person understand how to access them. This may make it possible to put a hold on a withdrawal or take other steps to prevent money from being wasted prior to a divorce. Often, money in a brokerage or retirement account is considered a marital asset even if the account is in the other spouse’s name only.

Preventing assets from being liquidated may also avoid a spouse from accruing a large tax bill that both parties to the marriage may be responsible for paying. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to remove a former spouse as a beneficiary to any investment accounts that a person might have. A friend, child or another family member may be named as a new beneficiary on the account when the divorce is finalized.

Individuals who need help dividing retirement or brokerage accounts in a divorce may want to contact an attorney who has experience in high asset divorce cases. He or she may be able to determine if these or other financial assets are considered marital or sole property. The spouse who is leaving the marriage with a lower earning potential or fewer assets may be entitled to monthly alimony payments. Custodial parents may also receive child support from their former spouses.