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Milwaukee retirement account division attorneysSplitting assets in a divorce can be a stressful process. In many cases, retirement accounts are some of the most valuable assets owned by a couple, and as with other marital property, they should be divided equally between spouses. Even if you do not expect to use the funds in your retirement account until many years in the future, it is still considered a marital asset that is measured by its current or predicted value. Unless your retirement accounts were established prior to your marriage or are protected within a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, they will need to be split 50/50 between you and your spouse.

Addressing Common Types of Retirement Accounts

The three major types of retirement benefits that may need to be divided during a divorce include:

  • IRAs - An individual retirement account that can house a wide variety of financial products, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 
  • 401(k)s - A 401(k) plan is a company-backed retirement account that employees can contribute to. In many cases, employers will match a certain percentage of an employee’s contributions.
  • 403(b)s - A 403(b) is a retirement account for certain employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations. Those who may have a 403(b) account include teachers, school administrators, professors, government employees, nurses, doctors, and librarians.

Splitting Retirement Accounts

Retirement savings can be split in one of two ways:

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Milwaukee, WI divorce business valuation attorneyIf you are a business owner going through a divorce, it is critical that you understand the laws surrounding community property and asset division and how they relate to your company. For many people, a business is considered community property, which means that both spouses own the business under Wisconsin law. This is true even if only one spouse is involved in the business.

If a business will be classified as community property, it must be properly valued so that business assets can be divided during divorce. It is possible that the spouse who is more involved with the business will retain ownership, and the other spouse will receive different marital assets of an equal value.

The Business Valuation Process

The most common way for a business valuation to occur is to hire a forensic accountant to review business records and other material. Information that will be reviewed  includes:

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Milwaukee property division attorneys, property division, division of marital assets, debt division, community propertyDividing marital property and debts is one of the key tasks in a divorce. Property division can be complex and contentious if many types of assets and debts are involved and the parties do not agree on how to split community property.

Determining Community Property

Wisconsin is a community property state. This means that any assets or debts acquired during the the course of the marriage (or acquired after the married couple moves to Wisconsin) belong to both spouses. Assets can include income earned by either party, investment and retirement accounts, and any property purchased regardless of whose name is on the title.

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