An old adage goes, “Someone who represents himself has a fool for a client.” While this is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, the saying is probably pre-dates Lincoln. Whoever coined the phrase made an important statement, especially in matters of divorce.
Do it yourself divorces (DIY) can be very expensive especially if there are assets such as retirement accounts that need to be divided between the parties. Reuters relates one particularly harrowing tale.
“How much could a retirement mistake cost you? Michelle Buonincontri, a certified divorce financial analyst, reviewed one case after the fact, that amounted to $110,0000 in taxes and penalties. The higher-earning spouse had withdrawn $250,000 from a 401(k) account to give to the other spouse, without what is known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). The tax, at 39.6 percent, was $85,000, and the 10 percent early distribution penalty was $25,000.