How to divide non-retirement investments in your divorce

While the goal of every divorce is a fair and equitable division of overall assets, the specific portfolio of that division is unique in every divorce. Most divorce professionals will build a property division spreadsheet to capture details, but there is so much more to consider. Although there are several categories of assets, extra value is often placed on retirement assets (401Ks, pension plans, and IRAs) and home equity, as the value of those assets tends to be higher and therefore can dramatically impact the parties’ futures.

In this post, we help you understand what to do with non-retirement investments and how to ensure you have the right help to make these important decisions.

Which non-retirement investments should I evaluate? 

Non-retirement investments include cash, certificates of deposit, stocks, mutual funds, money in brokerage accounts, rental property, land, businesses, and valuable assets such as cars, jewelry, precious metals, antiques, collectibles, and more. While your 401K might not have much emotional weight to it, often some of the non-retirement assets can have personal and sentimental value. Some may remind you of the marriage and you may choose to get rid of them along with the attached memories, while other items could be irreplaceable and may have strong sentimental value, such as an antique. 

Consider which non-retirement assets have unique value and future potential value along with others that might leave you with maintenance expenses and tax implications.

What to consider as you negotiate an ideal division of assets

A trusted financial advisor and divorce attorney are critical allies who can advise you on a non-retirement investment negotiation strategy. While you may understand some assets better than others, such as cash versus rental properties, you don’t want your understanding of the investment to solely drive your decisions around asset division.

Instead, let the professionals help you understand the full scope of each asset and how each of them align with your risk profile and financial goals. For example, your goals may align better with some assets than others. You may need cash for a new home purchase, but don’t want to deal with the maintenance of a vacation home, and therefore need a negotiation strategy that helps you create the life you want and the assets that support that future vision. 

Lastly, the tax implications of certain investments may change their overall, long-term value or create surprise tax consequences. By working with a CFDA, you’ll understand what to expect and how to use these projected figures to negotiate intelligently, creating the outcomes you want in both the short and long-term.

While a 50/50 split might be the default thinking in most divorces, it’s critical to look beyond an even division of assets, and that’s where a financial expert can help. Educate yourself by working closely with a financial advisor who can be objective, alongside your attorney, and help you remove emotion from your decisions. A third party and help you fully understand the current and future financial implications of your division of assets. Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help.