Baltimore Mediation Services

Sheila Russian

Retirement is an important issue to address in mediation. Some people remain at the same job for decades; others change jobs every few years.  People are employed by small businesses, large corporations, non profits, or the government.  Many are self employed.  

People frequently have several retirement accounts--IRAs, SEP IRAs, 403B accounts, and or pensions.  Each account has different characteristics and requirements.

Social Security is another source of retirement income. "If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record."(

During mediation, people share information about retirement savings. Clients find out what forms must be filled out to divide or close accounts, as well as about any fees or penalties. People also discuss the timing of making changes. 

It is extremely important to understand tax implications of decisions. For instance, a person  may owe more taxes if he/she is using funds in an IRA for a down payment on a house than if he/she rolls over the retirement funds into another retirement account.  Clients frequently consult with accountants, financial planners, and attorneys. Then they are able to make decisions that make financial sense.


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