There is a pervasive idea that a property division should result in a completely equal distribution of assets for each member of the dissolved marriage. Here in Utah, however, property divisions must be equitable, not equal. Equitable means that the division of assets must be fair given the situations of the parties.
When sorting out what they believe will make for an equitable distribution of property, many divorcing couples make costly mistakes that can impact their financial futures. For example, while the separating spouses may fight over who gets to keep the family home they may fail to consider all of the added expenses that come along with exclusive home ownership that can seriously deplete any savings the owner has maintained.
Another important consideration that some divorcing individuals fail to make is how particular accounts are taxed. While some retirement accounts are taxed when money is taken out of them, others are not. Certain bank accounts may also have penalties or fees if they are transferred or liquidated that can lessen the amount of money a party receives if that person is forced to transform the asset after the divorce.
While it is a challenge to find an equitable division of marital property that both parties can happily agree upon, it is worth taking the time to understand how particular assets will be treated as they mature. Individuals who divorce early in their lives may not have as significant of assets established as those who divorce later in life. For individuals who decide to end their marriages as they approach retirement, legal and financial professionals can offer helpful guidance on how to protect their financial futures and retirement savings.