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complex divorce & property division Archives

Lack of financial knowledge could lead to problems in divorce

Older couples are twice as likely to get a divorce than the same age group was in the 1990s. For people in California who have not been involved in managing the marital budget, it could be the first time in decades or even a lifetime that they have had to make financial decisions.

The divorce mediation process

California couples have the option of using divorce mediation in lieu of traditional divorce litigation. With mediation, the divorce process will be less expensive and take less time. Furthermore, each spouse could have greater control over the final agreement.

How to divide retirement accounts in a divorce

When a California couple gets a divorce, they may have to divide assets such as retirement accounts. While taking distributions from a retirement account before reaching a certain age usually results in taxes and penalties, a divorce is considered an exception. However, it is still necessary to complete the proper paperwork.

Securing post-divorce finances for older adults

California residents at or over the age of 50 who decide to get a divorce are part of a growing group of people who choose to do so as they approach retirement. The Pew Research Center reports that the divorce rate for people in this age group is two times was it was 25 years ago and that it is growing.

Art collections in divorce

It isn't unusual for couples in California to have some conflict over asset division during a divorce. In some cases, dividing personal property can be an area of significant strife, sometimes even more so than splitting up financial accounts. This may be due to one or both spouses having an emotional attachment to a particular item.

Avoid early IRA withdrawal fees in divorce

Retirement savings accounts have strict penalties built into them to prevent early withdrawals. Withdrawing money early could result in a lower standard of living during a person's retirement years. Since retirement accounts such as 401(k), IRA and pension plans may be considered community property in California, it's important for them to be divided properly in order to avoid such fees and tax penalties.

Property division and retirement accounts

California couples who are getting a divorce should be aware of potential tax liabilities in dividing retirement accounts. A qualified retirement plan, including a 401(k), a simplified employee pension plan or a profit-sharing plan, must be divided with a qualified domestic relations order. This is filed with the court and gives the other spouse the right to receive distributions from the account. It also makes the receiving spouse responsible for any income tax on payouts and allows the spouse to roll the payments into an IRA.

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