Master the division of assets in divorce | TIAA

– I grew up poor and money
always mattered to me I’ve never wanted to wind up poor and I never wanted to
see my daughter poor, so I always thought about money. And when I saw a large part of our income, may be walking away, I started saving our own just in case. – Having an assessment of the
current financial situation is really important as
you go into a divorce, particularly as it relates
to splitting assets and projecting future income needs. – When he left, I knew exactly
where our finances were. We didn’t hire a divorce lawyer because we went about it very friendly. We had a divorce mediator and we already had a list of finances, all of our assets, all of our debts, what we agreed on when we
walked into her office. She said it was the easiest divorce she had ever done. – It’s important to know
that retirement assets like an IRA or a 401(k) are
always in one person’s name only and always tied specifically
to one social security number. Oftentimes one spouse will look at the pure dollar value of an investment without understanding the benefits of certain tax implications and withdraw options from those accounts. – I had a sense of what our assets were and I knew they were being handled, I didn’t know whose name they were in. And they were in my ex’s. And so, in order to shift them to mine, there’s tax penalties and all kinds of issues there. The splitting up of our assets during the divorce process, I think it went as peaceful as it could be but it was still really contentious. – I bought this house because you told me you were going to love me forever and if you leave me, I’m gonna lose this house and this is the house that my
grandfather bought in 1959, this is the house my dad was raised in. I had Christmas dinner in that kitchen for my entire life and if you leave me, I’m gonna lose this house and you’re gonna destroy
everything my family’s fought for for 50 years. And he signed on the dotted line. – Some of the things looking back, I’ve learned that I needed to let go. If I had let go, I would have been in a better position. – While keeping costs
low should be a priority, having a fair and equitable outcome should be the number one. – Five years from now what you’re thinking of
right now at this moment, it’s gonna be totally different, so don’t fight over the coffee table, don’t fight over the CDs, it’s not going to matter. Everything that you do it’s
gotta be for your kiddo. – When I walked away from my divorce, I walked away in one
piece because I had help. My mediator helped me, I was fair, I was transparent with my ex, I gave him no reason to fight me and it made a big difference.

Michael Martin

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