How to list brokerage and retirement accounts

#1

Cristin,

I have been reviewing your videos and the message board. Thank you for all the information you provide!

I had brokerage and retirement accounts prior getting married. I am filing for divorce after nearly four years of marriage. I did not contribute much to my brokerage account as I was/aam paying all of of the expenses. I did contribute the maximum allowed to my company’s retirement program during the duration of the marriage.

  1. Would I list the brokerage account under both fl-160 (separate assets) and again on fl-160 (community assets) but only list what I contributed during marriage, though it’s only about $5K
  2. Do I list the retirement account contribution and portion contributed to the account during the marriage as community property and whatever was there before marriage twice? That is, I would fill out two fl-160, one individual and the other, community property.

Thank you in advance!

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#2

These are great questions!

You have a choice: you can list the accounts SOLELY under your separate property FL-160 but clarify that there is a small community interest in each of the accounts. Alternatively, you can list it under both but characterize the contributions as community property (not the account itself). The accounts are separate property, but some of the funds are community.

As a point of clarification, the contributions AND growth/loss of those contributions are community property. The same applies to the separate property balance in the account as of date of marriage. Therefore, it is not as simple of an equation as looking at a statement from date of marriage and then dividing the difference between that and the date of separation balance.

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#3

Thank you so much for responding. I have a couple of follow up questions related to fl-160.
1- I acquired a house prior to the marriage but sold it for a small profit during the marriage. There was comingling of the money received as it was initially deposited into a joint savings account. Several months later, I transferred 90% of the money to an individual savings account (set up during marriage). How would I list this? I can clearly trace the money back.
2- I purchased a car and paid the loan in full prior to marriage but then put the title under both my name and my spouse’s. How would this be listed?

You are truly providing an invaluable service to people going through a very difficult time. Thank you again.

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#4
  1. I would list the account on both FL-160s and state which portion is community and which is separate.

  2. It depends on what your “legal position” is on the issue. There are legal arguments both ways, but because it is a car with presumably diminishing value, it’s unlikely worth the cost of a trial. Obviously, if it’s a collector’s item with significant value, it might be worth arguing that it is your separate property. There is a presumption that you “gifted” the community with the car because you changed the title to joint during marriage, but presumptions are able to be rebutted.

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