When dividing assets the client must really consider whether to divide the retirement account either by dollar amount or percentage or to negotiate a trade-off of the types of assets such as the marital home. However, the client must really be cautious when contemplating a trade-off of this type. Considerations should be made for things like taxes. For example, a defined contribution retirement account will be taxed as income when the funds are later withdrawn. However, the home’s net value is really in after-tax dollars. Those tax implications have to be considered when dividing the retirement accounts.
Arin Fife is a family lawyer at Boyle Feinberg Sharma in Illinois.