How Nardis Advisors Addresses The Financial Complications Arising From a Divorce
Divorce is a complicated and emotional process, and while we at Nardis Advisors focus on the financial aspects (including the division of assets) we aim to be cognizant of the client’s mindset in order to make the process an easier one. We recommend reaching out to us as early as possible in the divorce process. The following examples will explain why.
Case 1: The Problem
H., a woman in her early 50s from Manhattan, was in a state of crisis regarding her finances after she and her husband of 30 years decided to divorce. She was still working in her profession as a therapist when her marriage fell apart. She realized only then how she had left the matter of family finances under her husband’s control their entire married life. She was particularly worried as to how the couple’s assets would be divided. She had heard that Nardis Advisors guides divorcees through the complications of asset division after divorce and approached them for advice.
Norman Chait, Managing Principal at Nardis Advisors first revealed to H. that under NY State law all retirement assets are to be split in half unless a pre-nuptial contract or other agreement states otherwise. This was in her favor as her husband’s 401k retirement plan amounted to $400,000, her individual retirement account was $200,000 so she would be entitled to a $100,000 transfer, to establish an equal split of $300,000 for each spouse. She was also relieved to learn that she would not have to pay tax on the transfer.
Case 2: The Problem
T. had a less fortunate outcome. She divorced her husband in 2017, but they had been separated since July 2016, which was determined as the date of division of assets. At that time her husband’s work retirement plan was worth approximately $1 million. By the time she consulted with Norman Chait, a full eighteen months later, and understood that she would be entitled to half of this amount plus or minus changes in market value of securities, the account was worth only $300,000.
Norman initially suspected that T.’s former husband had taken assets out of the account but after reviewing all statements for the period, he noticed that the ex-husband had invested all the proceeds into two risky stocks which had lost 80% of their value.
Had T. come to Nardis at the date of separation, she may have been advised to ask her husband to place her half of the assets in a more balanced portfolio in order to preserve the value.
“When someone is going through a divorce approaches us, we will sit down with them and assist them in getting the full picture of their family assets, as well as an assessment of what they will require in order to maintain their lifestyle. Divorce is hard enough without having to be in a precarious financial position and not understand what you are due and how to proceed,” explains Norman Chait.
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