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How to manage investments during divorce

Massachusetts residents who have experienced a marital split know that for most couples, one of the most significant consequences for one or both spouses is the financial fallout, which sometimes can be devastating. Several factors can contribute: division of assets, child and/or spousal support obligations, reduction of household income and the cost of the divorce itself. To minimize the damage regarding investments, individuals who are going through a divorce or about to begin the process can arm themselves with financial knowledge.

Firstly, most divorcing people will want to change beneficiary designations on any investment accounts from their spouse to a different person (or people). Next, individuals are wise to be sure they have a full understanding of all information necessary for them to access investment accounts (as well as all other assets). This information includes names attached to and account numbers of all financial accounts, login credentials, contact details and whether both spouses have the ability to make decisions in the accounts.

If divorcing individuals are considering selling any assets, they need to be aware of any tax consequences or other penalties that may result from this move. For example, an early exit from some assets, such as annuities and retirement accounts, may result in a significant penalty. Also, people in this position are smart to be aware of market conditions before selling and, if possible, sell at an opportune time. People who are splitting assets during a divorce also need to be aware of the necessary steps to doing so, and the process will vary depending on the type of investment. Typically, divorcing couples wishing to split a jointly owned taxable account must provide the request in writing to the financial institution.

Although, for most people, no part of divorce is easy, many divorcing or divorced Massachusetts residents will agree that the process of dividing assets is particularly challenging. However, people who ensure they have all the necessary facts before navigating this process are likely to fare better financially post-divorce. For guidance with this process as well as all other aspects of divorce, many divorcing couples enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney.


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