While there are plenty of variables that will impact each divorce individually depending on different laws and circumstances, there are some general rules that give an idea of how a divorce will affect someone financially.
Generally, Mr. Cordell said, he tells clients to assume there will be a 50-50 division of the marital assets, which is anything the parties have acquired from the outset of the marriage.
“It also includes, to the surprise of many people, anything that either party earned individually during the course of the marriage,” Mr. Cordell said. ” … That means if you have one earner who makes three to four times what the other party does, then they may end up contributing 80 to 90 percent of the total assets, yet those would all be marital.”
Mr. Cordell added that essentially any retirement account accumulated during the marriage will also be regarded as a marital account.
Although he tells his clients to assume a 50-50 split of assets, Mr. Cordell noted there are exceptions based on a variety of factors.
“That percentage can swing 10, 15 percent, sometimes 20 percent or more based upon factors such as the party’s earning power,” Mr. Cordell said. “Sometimes marital misconduct is still a factor in a minority of states. So there are other factors that can affect that distribution.”
Listen to the entire interview below.