Before you sign a divorce settlement, you may want to check the date on your marriage license. Being married one day less than 10 years versus staying together one day more than 10 years might seem a detail of little importance, but it may mean the difference between having a generous monthly Social Security survivor benefit and feeling double the grief when your financially better-off spouse dies before you, and your claim is denied.
Retirement comes eventually for most of us, and those who plan for it are usually very glad they did. Powerball winners have a choice of taking a lump sum or an annuity that may add up to much more over a period of time. Similarly, divorcing couples often face the difficult decision of how to structure the dividing of retirement assets to obtain the best result in the future.
There are hundreds of potential retirement scenarios that may be heavily implicated in a divorce settlement. Accepting ownership of certain assets might carry tax burdens much greater than equivalent assets that are taxed at different rates. Few of us have the subtleties of real estate tax laws and asset depreciation modalities at our fingertips.
When choosing a divorce lawyer, you should look for someone who thoroughly understands the laws governing these areas and who can refer you to a qualified CPA and financial planner to assist in determining how best to carve up your marital estate.
In our increasingly interconnected world, many people participate either in the so-called “gig economy” and/or the international employment marketplace. When the bulk of your career, or your spouse’s career, is spent working in a self-employed capacity, either as a business owner or as a contract employee for hire, the potential Social Security kitty may be much less than needed for a secure retirement. Similarly, if you or your spouse worked for years overseas, and did not pay into the U.S. Social Security system except sporadically, you may find it difficult upon retirement to qualify for benefits, even if either or both of your worked in countries that have Social Security treaties with the United States. Many if not most of the employees who answer the Social Security phone bank have never heard of the totalization process, which is not easily navigable even if you know about it, due not only to the loopholes and vagaries of American legal practice, but also due to changing political and economic situations even in countries closely allied with the United States.
If you want to divorce, or your spouse insists on a divorce, do yourself a favor. Call Hirsch Legal, LLC when the subject first rears its ugly head, before you serve or are served with legal papers. We can help you formulate a strategy to place you on the best footing possible for your case and for your future financial standing.
We serve clients in New Haven and throughout Fairfield County. If you live in Danbury, Westport, Bridgeport, Milford, Waterbury, Stamford or nearby, a trip to consult us in Shelton may make a significant difference in your prospects not only for a successful resolution of your divorce, but also your ultimate financial security in retirement.