If you’re getting divorced and much of your net worth is tied up in investments, do you have to pull them out of the market to divide them? If you bought the stock at a great price and it has only increased in value, you may want to keep those investments as they are. This was your plan, married or not, and you do not want your divorce to negatively impact your financial future.
There is good news: You usually do not have to pull out the money, divide it, and invest again. You can just have the investment firm split your account. There is a fair bit of paperwork here, but the idea is simply that they divide the one joint account that you and your spouse had into a pair of new accounts. One stays in your name, one gets set up in your ex’s name. Then you can both do what you wish with your percentage.
Keep in mind that the percentage may not be equal. You need to get a ruling from the court and then tell the investment firm what percentage goes to each person.
Another option, if you simply do not want to change the account, is to barter. Maybe your spouse wants to keep the home. It is worth $500,000 and it’s paid off. Your investments are worth about the same amount. You may be able to come to an agreement where you keep the account, your ex keeps the house and then you don’t have to worry about selling the home and dividing the proceeds — or dividing your investments.
Everything you can do to make divorce easier is worthwhile. Be sure you know what options you have.