Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
According to new research, a staggering number of Americans are choosing not to divide their retirement savings in divorce due to red tape alone. Their retirement prospects may be seriously affected by the decision not to jump through these hoops. They may also have to pay extra fees if they divide their retirement after divorce, not to mention dealing with the potential fallout of one partner receiving much less and becoming resentful. Dividing retirement accounts in divorce is a notoriously complicated process, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you.
The bureaucracy surrounding divorce and retirement is enough to give anyone a headache, but it’s important to remember that there may also be underlying psychological reasons behind the failure to deal with these matters, anything from ADD to depression to specific phobias. “Administrative phobia” is something that too often is seen as a failure of “adulting” rather than a serious type of anxiety that affects many people. When you mediate your divorce, rather than litigating, you can approach the bureaucracy of divorce from a more empathetic point of view.
At Boileau Conflict Solutions, we are West Coast mediators who often work with California couples with busy, complex lives who may have international backgrounds. Through our psychoanalytical and financial expertise, we take a deeper and more compassionate look at conflicts and difficulties involving money and the so-called mundane side of life. If there are fears, desires or resentments attached to dealing with the bureaucratic and financial side of divorce, we help to uncover them so these decisions can be made in a mindful way at a pace that works for both of you.
Be Kind to Yourself
People very often berate themselves for failing at “ordinary” things, but forms and bureaucracy can cause serious anxiety. Or, people may assume the simplest solution (just ignoring the problem or dividing your retirement in an ad hoc way) is best. When it comes to dividing retirement accounts, simpler is definitely not better. You may be on the hook for a 10 percent withdrawal fee if you divide your retirement accounts without the assistance of a professional. When you divide your accounts in the correct way (often using a process called a QDRO) you can save yourself a lot of money and hassle. In mediation you can break down the bureaucracy into manageable steps that serve your life rather than making you feel overwhelmed.
The truth is dividing retirement accounts using a QDRO or other court orders really IS a difficult process that needs to do be done correctly as part of your divorce. When you work with the mediators at BCS, we will guide you through the steps you have to take to make the most suitable agreement for your divorce while complying with California law and reducing legal consequences down the line. Taking care of yourself in your old age is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Thus when retirement planning is involved, it’s important to divorce mindfully and with care, understanding that there are correct procedures for doing this. For example, if you don’t divide your retirement account with your spouse during your divorce they might have a claim later on. Or, if you are the spouse who didn’t receive any of your ex’s retirement funds, you may lose your claim when your ex’s retirement funds’ administrator changes. When we work with divorcing couples we never lose sight of the emotional component of dealing with these issues. So whether there are psychological obstacles to managing your life, or whether your relationship as former spouses is causing strain, we do not neglect these deeper issues.
Who We Are and How We Can Help
We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. Our West Coast Mediators can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. The sooner you can resolve your conflict, the sooner you can begin to craft a sustainable future for you and your children. Our specially trained divorce mediator-accountants can also help reveal and investigate the proven financial facts of a divorce to make a full financial appraisal of your divorce and to suggest creative solutions for financial planning after divorce. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people going through a California divorce. Very often these couples have complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We also work with individuals on the West Coast from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. Our remote mediations are safe, socially distant and completely confidential, secured by two private servers. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.