Lagniappe (aka Blog)


Managing Retirement and Divorce

Posted by Elise Buie | Sep 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

We appreciate that divorce can be complicated. Even where parties agree on all the issues it can be important to speak with a family law attorney regarding some of the more “hidden” aspects of divorce. Many clients have a firm grasp and understanding of their personal property; one person gets grandma's ring, the other the dinnerware or TV. But when it comes to dividing financial assets it can be easy for the average client to feel a little bit lost without a helping hand to guide them through.

Retirement Benefits: Next to a house, many couples most important asset can be their retirement account, and dividing these up is not as simple as taking half. Retirement benefits could also vest in a number of ways, like through stock options or pension plans which both have different ways of being calculated. Cashing out a retirement plan could have important tax consequences that need to be taken into account when valuing the asset. Even where it may be technically possible, you may need a QRDO, or qualified domestic relations order before moving forward.

Health Insurance: Often courts will require health care for any minor parties, and if retirement is in your future you will need to consider the consequences of health insurance and retirement as well. Does your health insurance continue? Will you need to apply for private insurance when you leave your job?

Tax Implications: Even where benefits seem simple it is important to understand the tax consequences and include these in any property divisions. For example, that 401k is suddenly going to lose a lot of value if it ends up being cashed out early, and you won't want to wait until tax time for this surprise.

For any questions or concerns regarding retirement and divorce please contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation. 

About the Author

Elise Buie

Passionate, creative, problem-solving attorney who crafts solutions rather than obstacles. Elise spends significant time educating her clients on healthy communication skills. Elise also ensures that her clients make informed decisions by understanding the future emotional and financial implications of their decisions. Your family's future is our first priority. Elise teaches her clients new skills to empower them in the future as they adjust to the new family structure. While divorce ends a marriage, it is the beginning of your new, often times, more authentic life. Elise will help you begin that new life with new skills to handle any future challenges.


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Areas We Serve

At Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC, we represent clients from Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, and the surrounding region, including all of King County and the cities of Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Federal Way, Shoreline, Des Moines, Bainbridge Island, Vashon, Auburn, Renton and Puyallup. We love working with clients from Seattle's unique, eclectic neighborhoods: West Seattle, Fremont, Ballard, Madrona, Queen Anne, Greenwood, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, Wedgewood, View Ridge, Laurelhurst, Windermere, Madison Park, Magnolia, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Broadmoor, Phinney Ridge, Crown Hill, Yarrow Point and Mercer Island.

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Call us at (206) 926-9848

We'll be happy to set up an initial consult. Thank you for looking around our site. We look forward to serving you.

We welcome your email, but please understand that if you are not already a client of Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC, we cannot represent you until we confirm that representing you would not create a conflict of interest. Please do not include any confidential information until we verify that our office is in a position to represent you and our engagement is confirmed in writing. Prior to that time, there is no legal representation and thus no attorney-client confidentiality.

Thank you.

Elise Buie Family Law Group


Elise Buie Family Law Group PLLC
1001 Fourth Avenue, 44th Floor   Seattle, WA 98154