Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Considering divorce when making financial decisions

Negotiations over the division of marital property are often difficult and delicate for divorcing couples in New York, and this can be especially true when important financial decisions have generally been made by only one of the spouses involved. Decisions about matters such as estate and retirement planning are generally made based upon what makes the most financial sense, but even the most prudent of choices can leave spouses at a disadvantage during divorce negotiations.

When both spouses work, married couples may have more than one retirement account to choose from when extra funds become available. Financial planners would likely recommend that this choice be made based upon fee schedules or likely returns, but placing a disproportionate amount of funds in one account could leave the holder of the less attractive account at a significant disadvantage during divorce negotiations.

Most counselors agree that marriages may become stronger when the wishes of both spouses are taken into account before important decisions are made. Couples are often reluctant to consider the possibility of divorce because they fear that merely bringing the subject up could create uncertainty and fear, but a more pragmatic approach may actually make marriages more likely to endure. Contingency planning builds confidence, and accepting that even the strongest of relationships can end in divorce could help couples to make more judicious financial decisions.

Property division negotiations can be particularly difficult when divorcing spouses have significant assets and complex investment and business arrangements. In these situations, experienced family law attorneys may seek to ensure that assets are not being concealed or undervalued by calling upon forensic accountants and investment portfolio specialists to assess business arrangements and review financial documents for irregularities.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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