Protecting Investments / Retirement Savings

Chicago Property Division Divorce Attorney

Helping Clients Protect Investments, Retirement Accounts and Pensions

Investments, including stocks, retirement accounts, 401(k) accounts, IRA accounts, pensions, retirement plans, and ESOPs are considered part of the marital estate if they were acquired during the marriage.  Since investments often make up a considerable portion of a divorcing couple’s marital estate, it is important to understand how your investment and retirement assets will be divided in the divorce property division.

Although the marital estate must be divided equitably under Illinois law, this does not necessarily mean that the property will be divided equally. Experienced Chicago divorce attorney, Elliot Heidelberger has more than 45 years of experience advising clients with respect to property division in divorce.  He will carefully analyze your marital estate, including assets such as real estate, investments and retirement accounts, as well as any marital debt, in order to determine the appropriate property division.

As a preliminary matter, it is important to determine whether specific assets are part of the marital estate or not.  Property  acquired prior to the marriage or that was acquired as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, are generally not considered part of the marital estate. Elliot Heidelberger understands the importance of scrutinizing the investments and other financial accounts of divorcing couples to determine when and how the property was acquired.

In order to facilitate an equitable division and distribution of marital assets, courts frequently divide investments and retirement accounts equally between the divorcing spouses in order to afford each spouse an equal opportunity to build sufficient investment income and assets.  In some situations, the court will make a disproportionate allocation of specific assets to offset an unequal division of other marital assets or instead of requiring a payment of spousal maintenance.

If the investment assets are held in retirement accounts, a court may use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide and distribute retirement funds before retirement age, at the time of divorce. Doing so will allow a transfer of a portion or all of the retirement account, without being taxed or penalized, to the other spouse.

Since the division of investments and retirement accounts can have a significant tax impact, it is important to consider the practical consequences of a proposed property division. Elliot Heidelberger has been helping clients deal with the myriad legal and financial issues that come into play during a divorce. He will careful examine your financial situation, including all assets and debt, in order to determine the practical effect of the property division, including the division of investment assets and retirement accounts.

Illinois divorce property division attorney, Elliot Heidelberger has handled hundreds of divorce cases involving the division of investment assets and retirement accounts. To learn more about the division of investment assets in divorce, contact knowledgeable Illinois divorce property division attorney, Elliot Heidelberger at our Naperville, Hanover Park and Chicago offices at (847) 497-5020