Retirement benefits are one of the many issues that may need to be settled in divorce proceedings. For example, if one spouse participated in a 401K plan through his employer during marriage, his wife would be entitled to some of the benefits when he retired. But when a couple divorces, it is necessary to plan for division of the benefits-either immediately or upon the employee-spouse's retirement.
There is no question that divorce can be a truly life-altering experience. Your finances may change radically. Your last name may change. You may even choose to move to a new location, remarry, and build a new family with a new spouse.
The period following divorce is often viewed as a chance to start over. Some people choose to relocate and construct new careers and social lives. Others give their homes a good cleaning, and discard certain possessions that remind them of turbulent times.
Court is not the only option for divorcing couples. A common alternative to court is mediation, in which a neutral third party helps the couple reach their own agreement regarding division of property, child and spousal support, and custody. Another option is mediation's close cousin, arbitration. An arbitrator is sometimes described as a more informal trial conducted by a private judge. The parties actively try to persuade the arbitrator on their respective points, and in turn, the arbitrator offers a judgment.