Texas couples who are divorcing must divide financial assets such as retirement accounts. How these accounts get divided depends upon a number of factors including what type of accounts they are. Individuals must fill out paperwork to avoid tax penalties, and an individual IRA requires a transfer incident. For 401(k)s and employer-sponsored funds, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is necessary.
When a couple with high-value assets decides to divorce, each spouse has a lot to lose. Often one of the primary considerations is how the end of the marriage will affect retirement plans.
Texas divorce courts follow community property laws for the division of assets, which means that all debts, property and other assets acquired during a marriage are marital property and equally divided between the spouses upon a divorce. However, special documents and orders, such as prenuptial agreements, could mean that the assets are divided differently. This is why it is important for entrepreneurs to protect their businesses in case of divorce.
Forensic accountants are often used by the wealthy to evaluate business concerns and to assess financial matters in the event of litigation. A forensic accountant may also be used in Texas when a couple is going through a divorce so that marital assets can be appropriately divided.
It is important for people who are contemplating a divorce to consider how their finances may change as a result of the split. One spouse may be ordered to pay child support if a court awards custody to the other parent, and in some cases, a spouse who earns significantly more than the other may be ordered to pay alimony. Mortgage or rent costs may go up in addition to utility bills that are no longer split. Texas is a community property state, meaning that in general, marital assets and debts are divided equally during a divorce unless the couple can otherwise agree.
A Texas resident who is facing divorce may find that their financial situation is such that the use of credit cards may be necessary during the transition. Additionally, credit accounts used by both spouses during the marriage may come into play as debt and assets are distributed. It can be helpful to have a plan prior to finalization of a divorce so that one's credit standing is protected.
One of the first decisions that many Texas couples make after they get married is whether or not to have a joint checking account. Arguments for a joint checking account are that they promote trust between spouses and provide clarity about financial affairs. When a couple maintains separate accounts, one spouse could easily spend money on things without the other spouse knowing.
A Texas resident who owes child support, alimony or both may find that it can be tough to keep up with these payments during slow work seasons or times of illness. Even in cases of high-asset divorce, one's financial future could be affected by an economic downturn or by unexpected health problems. If such issues arise, keeping up with court-ordered support payments can become difficult or impossible. Disability is one situation that can lead to such changes, but there are insurance policies available to guard against this eventuality.
As many Texas residents may be aware, a divorced spouse may claim a percentage of an ex-spouse's Social Security retirement benefits. Such spousal benefits have specific guidelines, and knowing what they are is important.
Some Texas couples may deal with significant financial issues in case of divorce, but the settlement issued in the divorce of a Russian oligarch and his ex-wife involves billions of dollars. However, the matter is still in flux due to a Swiss court overturning the original amount set by a Geneva court. The ex-wife intends to appeal the decision to Switzerland's highest court.