If the parties have joint bank accounts or credit cards, one can move to divide those bank accounts. One can also simply go into the joint account, withdraw half of the current balance, and deposit it into a separate account. You can cancel the joint credit cards. There is no reason to await the divorce filing. In fact, once you do file a divorce in New York State, there are certain restrictions put into place, which may prevent you from doing these things.
You should always have a consultation with a divorce attorney before moving funds or assets because there may be exceptions. One example is if your spouse is a homemaker and has no money or credit cards. Cutting her off from funds may not be advisable and may provoke her to ask the court for spousal support.
I Own A Business. How Will That Impact My High Asset Divorce Case?
Among other things, your attorney would need to know whether the business started during the marriage and whether it significantly appreciated in value during the time of the marriage. If it was either started during the marriage or appreciated through active efforts during the time of the marriage, then you are talking about a marital asset. Marital assets are subject to valuation and distribution in a divorce case. You would want to plan with your divorce attorney and hire an accountant to start planning out the best ways to structure assets within the business.
How Are Retirement Accounts Divided During a High Asset Divorce Case?
One needs to determine the amount of assets out there and their nature. There are many different ways accounts can be divided but one needs to determine whether there are premarital portions of those accounts, and whether there are offsets that need to be done. Offsets are a lot easier when dealing with more liquid accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, or deferred compensation. They are a little harder when dealing with a pension plan because when you are going to do an offset, the pension plan would need to be evaluated and reduced to present value.
A pension plan can only be awarded to a particular party upon retirement age. One would need to have an appraiser come in and have the account appraised and reduced to present value by running it through an actuarial table. One would probably benefit by having a forensic accountant take a look at all the accounts to advise what would be most advantageous for the party to do. It’s not as easy as looking at the dollar values of the accounts and transferring one versus the other because some carry transfer taxes or fees.
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