Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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Tips for avoiding costly decisions during a divorce

When Georgia couples choose to end their marriages, they most likely understand that doing so will alter their financial lives. A divorce will require numerous decisions regarding the division of marital assets. Financial advisers recommend that people seek out clear information about their potential tax liabilities after distributing retirement funds as well as whether or not they can actually afford to keep a family home on a single income.

Specific administrative steps need to be followed for an ex-spouse to receive a share of the former partner's 401(k) retirement account and avoid income taxes. A family court overseeing the divorce must issue a qualified domestic relations order that meets the requirements of a retirement plan administrator before funds can be released without incurring an early withdrawal fee. The recipient must then roll the funds into a new retirement account within 60 days or pay income taxes. A certified financial planner warned that some people might misjudge the value of a retirement account by failing to consider that it is taxable income if not locked away again as retirement savings.

The temptation to keep a marital home could prove costly as well. Someone might want the home because it represents stability during a turbulent time, but the upkeep costs could become a strain, especially if two incomes had been needed to maintain the property.

Before someone signs off on a divorce settlement, the advice of an attorney could prove beneficial. An attorney might spot issues that could cause financial hardship and inform the client about rights to certain assets. Legal representation could help resolve disputes about property division by shifting attention to future needs instead of old arguments.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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