The calculations are time consuming, because to accurately determine a marital value would require that earnings accrued during the course of the marriage be allocated to either the premarital portion or the marital contributions.
Conceptually, the premarital portion has more influence on the earnings through many of the early years of the marriage. Some time would have to pass before the impact of the marital contributions could catch up to that of the premarital portion on the earnings. For example, $2,000 in contributions in the first year of the marriage might have $200 in earnings, compared to $2,000 in earnings on a $20,000 premarital account value. Moreover, the plan administrators do not have programs in place to compute marital contributions and earnings between two points in time.
Additionally, many plans will have changed plan administrators or custodians of the funds. Calculations of a marital value in a 401(k) or similar plan require retaining an expert in securities (investments) and can become expensive depending on how far back the date of marriage is; however, to the plan participant, and based on our experience, it is a worthwhile expense, to say the least.
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