Raleigh Divorce Law Firm
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919-256-3970

PLEASE NOTE: Our office is open for business as usual but in these unprecedented times, the team at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm is taking proactive steps to protect our team, clients and colleagues as well as do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We have taken measures to limit the number of people physically in the office and have been working with clients to handle meetings by phone and utilize other technological methods to communicate when necessary. Our office location does not share space with any other businesses so there is a limited amount of traffic in and out of the office. We sanitize our conference rooms after each use so they are clean and ready for the next client.

There are currently courthouse policies state-wide that involve the postponing of trial dates within the next thirty days and we are working diligently to make sure our existing clients are notified about this and to reschedule any affected court dates. We continue to remain committed to providing quality legal services. Our phone and computer systems have the ability to operate remotely, should that become necessary at any point in the future. Additionally, we utilize a secure network and have an IT team dedicated to protecting our client’s privacy and security while allowing our attorneys, paralegals, and staff the opportunity to work from home if needed.

If you are a current client of the firm or a prospective client, please be assured that we continue to have the ability to effectively represent you. Please feel free to call or email us anytime, and we will continue to be available to serve your needs.

Protecting your retirement plans during a divorce

Planning for retirement is a decades-long goal, and one that not everyone has the desire or resources to pursue. To complicate planning further, according to a recent survey, a divorce can be almost as hard on your retirement plans as a recession.

However, you can take steps to protect your retirement and your finances during a North Carolina divorce.

  1. Avoid a lengthy, courtroom divorce. You take on more legal fees the longer your case takes to resolve. And having to go to court leads to added legal costs as well. To minimize these expenses, you can opt for alternatives to litigation, like mediation or collaborative divorce. These methods can result in faster resolutions and lower legal fees, which leaves you with more money for your future.
  2. Make sure you have a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or appropriate document completed to legally effectuate the transfer of any retirement accounts being divided pursuant to your divorce. As a recent USA Today article on retirement and divorce discusses, dividing assets like retirement accounts can lead to massive financial penalties if not done correctly. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is required to divide or transfer accounts for qualified plans like 401(k)'s. Non-qualified plans may still require a Domestic Relations Order or an IRA Rollover Order to accomplish a transfer of retirement assets. With a QDRO or DRO there are no tax penalties to either party related to the transfer of funds to the other spouse pursuant to the divorce. Many people falsely assume that if their settlement order or agreement specifies that they are to receive the funds they automatically receive them. This is a false assumption. Make sure any order or agreement specifies what has to be done for the transfer to occur, which lawyer is responsible for drafting this, and what timeframe this needs to occur in. 
  3. Consider the cost of keeping property. Keeping property can be more expensive than you expect, so keep in mind your post-divorce financial status when deciding whether you want to (and should) keep property like a marital home. It may be too expensive to pay the mortgage and keep up with maintenance costs when you have one source of income instead of two. In this situation, it may be best to sell the property to reduce expenses.

Divorce changes people's plans for the future. And while it is impossible to predict what that future will look like, these are some of the steps you can take to minimize financial fallout and protect your retirement plans. You can discuss these and other options in more detail with your attorney.

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8341 Bandford Way, Suite 1
Raleigh, NC 27615

Phone: 919-256-3970
Fax: 919-256-3971
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