Property Division & Retirement

High Net Worth Divorce, Retirement Assets and Property Division in Utah

Divorce can be a complex and emotional process, especially for individuals with high net worth. When it comes to dividing assets, retirement accounts can play a significant role. As an expert in the field of family law, Lone Peak Law has a deep and comprehensive understanding of the legalities and strategies involved in protecting your property and retirement assets during a high net worth divorce. 

The state of Utah is an equitable distribution state, which means that the court will attempt to divide property in a fair and reasonable manner. However, what is considered fair and reasonable can vary from case to case.

At Lone Peak Law, we have the expertise to guide you through a fair and equitable asset division and can help best protect your retirement accounts. Here, we will explore the different types of property that can be divided during divorce proceedings in Utah, the process of dividing property, and important factors that the court will consider when making its determination.
Types of Property in Utah
In Utah, there are two types of property: marital property and separate property. Marital property is any property that was acquired during the marriage and is subject to division in a divorce. This includes income, retirement benefits, and any property purchased with marital funds. Separate property, on the other hand, is property that was acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation and is not subject to division.

The state of Utah strives for joint legal decision-making, meaning both parents have equal responsibility for making decisions that will affect their children's lives. However, in some cases, one parent may be awarded sole legal decision-making. And the same applies to physical custody, which can be shared or awarded to one parent depending on the case.

It is important to note that in Utah, the court will presume that all property acquired during the marriage is marital property unless it can be proven otherwise.

When it comes to retirement accounts, the distinction between marital and non-marital property depends on several factors, including the timing of contributions and the source of funds. It's essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine which assets fall into which category.
The Process of Dividing Property in Utah
The process of dividing property in Utah begins with identifying all of the assets and debts that are subject to division. This may involve obtaining appraisals, reviewing financial records, and hiring experts to assist in the valuation of certain assets.

Once all of the assets and debts have been identified, the court will begin the process of dividing the property. In most cases, the court will attempt to divide the property in a way that is fair and equitable to both parties. This may involve awarding one party a greater share of the assets if certain conditions are met. 
Factors Considered by the Court in Property Division CasesWhen determining how to divide property in a divorce case, the court will consider a number of different factors. Some of these factors include:
The length of the marriage
The age and health of the parties
The earning potential of each party
The standard of living established during the marriage
The contribution of each party to the acquisition of the property
The needs of each party
The fault of either party in the breakdown of the marriage
Understanding the Different Types of Retirement Accounts
Retirement accounts come in many forms, including traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k)s, pensions, and annuities. Each type of retirement account is treated differently under the law, and it's essential to understand the specific rules and regulations for each account.
Protecting Your Retirement Assets During Divorce
There are several strategies that individuals can use to protect their retirement assets during a high net worth divorce. Some of the most common methods include:
Negotiating a settlement agreement
Utilizing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)
Dividing retirement accounts through a property settlement agreement
It's essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine the best strategy for protecting your retirement assets.
The Importance of Accurate Valuation
Accurately valuing retirement assets is crucial in any divorce case, and it's especially important for individuals with high net worth. The value of a retirement account can have a significant impact on the outcome of a divorce settlement, and it's essential to work with a professional who can provide an accurate assessment of the value of your assets.
Divorce can be a complex and emotional process, and the division of assets, including retirement accounts, can be a significant issue. By understanding the different types of retirement accounts, determining marital vs. non-marital property, and utilizing the right strategies to protect your assets, you can ensure that your retirement is protected during a high net worth divorce.

If you're facing a divorce and need help protecting your retirement assets, Lone Peak Law has the expertise to help you achieve the optimal outcome. We can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the process and protect your assets for the future.
Schedule your free consultation today.