Professional Changes May Lead to Divorce

In Texas and states throughout the South, couples are more likely to get married and divorced. Marriages end for many different reasons and while there are several changes during marriage that can lead to divorce, a recent study points to professional changes as a main reason couples get divorced.

The Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology published a study on the correlation between professional changes and the rate of separation and divorce. The study concluded that professional pressures during a marriage can lead to divorce. The most common professional changes cited are job loss, moving to a new job, retiring, and change in responsibilities at work.

The study also found that professional changes force couples to look at their personal life and consider if divorce is the best option. Many women feel the need to find themselves and men want to explore other options after their professional life has changed.

Dividing Retirement Accounts

When professional changes and stress lead to divorce, it is important to not allow stress to affect proper divorce settlement issues. Dividing retirement assets gained by each spouse through professional employment and savings is a critical element of divorce that will impact both spouses for the rest of their lives.

It is important to understand the different types of retirement plans before divorce is finalized. Proper understanding is vital because the correct language needs to be included in the divorce settlement reviewed by the judge. If the language is incorrect, the divorce decree may not be able to enforce the division of retirement assets as planned.

There are two types of retirement plans: IRAs and qualified plans. For IRAs, the law requires these assets be divided under a court-approved divorce decree or legal separation. For qualified plans, a Qualified Domestic Relation Order (QDRO) is used to legally separate retirement assets. The law mandates that these assets cannot be subjected to garnishment and creditors do not have rights to these assets. However, a former spouse or child is allowed to receive their portion of assets from that plan.

There are many other factors to consider when dividing retirement assets through a divorce decree or QDRO. It is important to contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options while going through a divorce to devise a proper plan to keep your finances and lifestyle intact.