How will divorce affect my investments?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2023 | High-Asset Divorce |

Divorce in Virgnia involves splitting marital assets equitably, or fairly. This can be simple enough when it comes to assets such as a home or bank accounts, but what about more complex assets such as investments?

Like most people who have investments, you count on them to help you grow your wealth and maintain your financial stability. You may worry that a divorce will have a negative impact on your investments, so here are some ideas that can help.

Assess your investments

First, perform a thorough examination of all your investments. They are likely going to be classified as marital property and subject to some type of division in your divorce. Even if they are considered separate property, the value of any separate property is still a factor in determining a fair split of marital assets.

Therefore, you need to know what you have. Make sure you know what investment accounts you have, how they are titled and the login information for each one.

The rules may be different for each investment

If the investment accounts are going to be split with your spouse in a divorce, learn the exact method for splitting the account. The rules for splitting accounts vary depending on the type of account.

For example, most standard 401K plans are split through a special document called a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”). Using this form prevents the spouse who is receiving the distribution from the account from being assessed any tax penalties. Follow the specific rules and requirements for splitting each investment account you have.

Consider freezing your investments during divorce

If you are worried your spouse might make withdrawals or take other actions on investment accounts while your divorce is pending to harm you, try contacting the financial institution and asking for the accounts to be frozen. They might require some verification that you have a pending divorce, but freezing the account until your divorce is final can protect you.

Investments can increase the complexity in a divorce, which is why you should have professional help and guidance from the start.