Congratulations Mike & Paula!

mike and paula 2016-02-12Both Michael Ruppert and Paula Schaefer have been selected to the 2016 Indiana Super Lawyers. Only five percent of the attorneys in Indiana receive this honor.

 

The research team at Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, singles out attorneys in over 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

Budding Artist

artwork 2016-01-29This beautiful work of art was created by a child of a Ruppert & Schaefer client. She was with her parent one day and needed to be occupied while Daddy was meeting with his lawyer. This photo now graces the wall of that attorney as a reminder why the we at Ruppert & Schaefer work hard to help parents and children.

Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. | Do You Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial-Agreement-2Many couples today are bringing assets with them when they marry. Assets can include retirement accounts, savings accounts, trusts, and investment portfolios. But they can also bring debts like student loans and credit cards balances or even have a child support obligation.

A prenuptial agreement can bring peace-of-mind to both of you. You can keep separate the assets and debts brought into the marriage as well as protect future financial transactions. Some things to consider are:

  • Is one of you due to receive an inheritance whether in the form of money or physical property?
  • Is there a life insurance policy for children from a previous marriage? How will children from this marriage be protected?
  • If there are separate bank accounts, who is responsible for which bills, including mortgages?
  • What happens if one parent foregoes their job in order to care for your children?

Your wedding day is one of the happiest experiences you’ll have. No one wants to consider the possibility of divorcing; however, there are times it’s best to plan for the worst. The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. can help you draw up a prenuptial agreement before your wedding. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call (317) 580-9295.

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 (http://www.ameriprise.com/budgeting-investing/financial-planning-articles/saving-and-budgeting/insurance-concerns-after-divorce.asp). 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.