Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. | What Happens to Your Retirement During a Dissolution of Marriage Proceeding?

Divorces are complicated. Between dividing things like home furnishings and cars and deciding on parenting time and child support, one more thing to consider is what to do with what each party has saved for their retirement, assuming it was not accounted for in a prenuptial agreement.

Retirement accounts like 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, or Employee Stock Ownership Plans are in the name of one individual but what was contributed during the marriage can be divided between both of you. Essentially, a qualified valuator looks at what was added while you were married. That value is then considered part of the marital estate.

If you are a party who is to receive these funds during a divorce, an attorney must prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and submit it to the financial institution managing the retirement account. Your portion is then transferred to a retirement account in your own name. This keeps you from facing tax consequences associated with early withdrawal.

If you have questions about your retirement account or your spouse’s, the attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. can advise you. To make an appointment with one of our lawyers, call (317) 580-9295.


Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. | What about Life Insurance after Divorce?

Signing  divorce papers

Signing divorce papers

Following a dissolution or legal separation, one or both of the parties may be required to carry a life insurance policy ( A newly-single parent may need to take out a policy to provide for their children in the event of death. The insurance money can take the place of what the deceased parent would have paid in child support and/or shared expenses.

There are two options when considering life insurance: whole life and term coverage. It’s possible term coverage may be more appropriate because it can be structured to provide for the children until they are emancipated. As with any financial planning, you should seek out the advice of a professional to learn what is right for you and your children.

The lawyers at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. can assist you with what financial planning may be required in your case and help you find the right professional to handle your affairs. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, please call (317) 580-9295.

Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. | Dividing Assets and Debts in a Disolution

Division-Marriage-AssetsWhen couples decide to divorce, one of the many things they consider is how to divide the assets or property they have accumulated during their marriage. This includes things like:

  • checking and savings accounts
  • automobiles and other vehicles or sporting equipment
  • the marital home or other real estate
  • retirement accounts
  • investment portfolios
  • stocks and shares in a company or business

In Indiana, the presumption is an equal split (50/50) and it is up to either the husband or wife to prove a claim for deviation. Sometimes, parties will be required to sell assets and divide the proceeds. Other times, property can be divided between the parties.

The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer have experience with high asset divorces. To schedule an appointment, please call (317) 580-9295.

Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. | Why should I Establish Paternity?

dna-testsIn Indiana, children born during a marriage are presumed to belong to the husband. But what if you’ve never been married? Without establishing paternity through the court, single fathers don’t have the same rights automatically afforded to married fathers. While it’s true that dads share equal rights with mothers, a single man only gains his standing when paternity is established through the court system.

It is often assumed only mother or the prosecutor can file a paternity action. This is not true. A man who suspects he may be a father can file a petition to establish paternity and begin the process to gain parenting time (visitation) or even joint or full custody. A paternity action will also specify any child support obligation by either the mom or dad.

Protecting a Father’s Rights

What if the mom wants to put the baby up for adoption? A father still has rights in this instance. Indiana has a Putative Father Registry to help protect a dad’s rights. A potential father should register with the Putative Father Registry (a) before the child’s birth; (b) within 30 days after the baby is born,  or (c) before an adoption proceeding is filed, whichever occurs last. Registering with the Putative Father Registry will insure that a man receives notice of an adoption if a biological mother decides to elect this route. The State provides a form that can be downloaded, notarized, and filed with the Department of Health.

If you would like to consult with the attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. to learn more about paternity rights, please call (317) 580-9295.