Divorce often becomes very expensive once the years of wedded bliss are ended. When married couples split up, their marital assets are fair game to be split as well. For the past 40 years, pension benefits have been protected by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 — ERISA, a complex set of regulations that deal with workplace retirement plans. Then, in 1984, the Retirement Equity Act put spousal protections into place.
Few things are more emotionally trying than going through a divorce. Once you arrive at a settlement agreement, you feel some relief that you can move on with your separate lives. But you may not realize that your hard-earned money can end up back with your former spouse if you fail to implement an estate plan that prevents that from happening.
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