Dividing investments during divorce in Tennessee

Divorcing spouses with investment accounts should understand how to proceed and do so carefully for the best results for everyone.

When going through a divorce in Tennessee, it can be confusing enough as it is dealing with dividing up all marital property, but the situation can become that much more complicated when stock market investments are brought into the equation. As with every other aspect of divorce, discussing investments should be done carefully to ensure complete fairness and to reduce the risk of either party feeling cheated.

Make an inventory

The first step in this particular process is for everyone to sit down together to see what investment holdings need to be dealt with. All savings, checking, brokerage and retirement accounts should be revealed and tallied. There might also be employment benefits, insurance policies and pensions to consider.

Consider hiring a forensic accountant

Because not every spouse is honest about her or his finances, it might be a good idea to think about hiring a professional forensic accountant to launch an investigation to see if there are any secret assets to uncover. An accountant might uncover what is known as restricted stock, which is company shares employees receive but cannot take advantage of until certain conditions are met, such as an employee working for a company for a specific period of time. While a restricted stock may not pay off in the end, it is something to bring up during divorce proceedings.

Think about tax liabilities

Once everyone has a lay of the investment land and is ready to divide everything, both parties should think about the tax liabilities involved with claiming investments. Something else to think about is the fact that not every husband or wife is honest, which means one spouse might be on the hook for a massive tax liability if the other spouse was not forthcoming about owing federal or state taxes over the years. This is another reason a forensic accountant can come in handy.

Follow through is just as essential as execution

While it is understandable to want to celebrate when divorce proceedings and asset division are almost over, anyone who is divorcing should be sure to take care of all final tasks before pouring champagne. This means ensuring everything is approved by all necessary officials and all forms are signed. All documents and paperwork should be carefully looked over for mistakes, and any investment portfolios that exist should be adjusted, if needed, to account for one's new life.

Oftentimes, professional help is a must when it comes to dividing and dealing with investments in a divorce. Turning to a Tennessee attorney is sure to help divorcing couples find the resources and information they need during such a complicated process.