Divorce is a difficult process at any age and stage in life, but it can be particularly complex for individuals who are near retirement age. The end of a marriage will have a significant financial impact on both parties, and if you find yourself facing the prospect of a gray divorce, it is critical to take immediate steps to protect your financial interests and prepare for what is ahead.
How can you prepare for a gray divorce?
Divorce after decades of marriage can be complicated as there may be valuable retirement accounts and large amounts of savings at stake. In addition to the financial aspects of divorce, there are other questions that you must ask in order to prepare for post-divorce life in Florida, and, ultimately, your financial well-being in retirement. These questions include:
- Where will you live?
- Will you have to continue working past your intended retirement date?
- Can you afford to keep your home?
- Do you have minor children you will have to support?
- Are you eligible for spousal support?
- Will you be required to pay spousal maintenance or child support?
The answers to these questions will reveal much about what your financial capabilities will be after divorce and during retirement. Additionally, the division of marital assets, including retirement accounts, will ultimately be the deciding factor in your financial life.
The division of retirement assets
Most divorce settlements require the division of all marital property, including retirement accounts, between the two spouses. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a higher share of retirement savings in exchange for other assets, but it is extremely important that you secure a settlement that allows you to manage your share of any marital debt and your financial obligations, especially after you stop working.
After your divorce is final, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is drafted to ensure that the division of marital assets is carried out according to the final settlement. Without a properly drafted QDRO, you may find it difficult to secure your rightful share of retirement accounts, or it may result in more going to your ex-spouse than was originally designated.
A strong post-divorce future
If you are over the age of 50 and divorcing, it could require an overhaul of your original retirement plans. You may not have access to the amount of money you planned on, you may have to downsize your home and you may have to continue working longer, but you can still have a strong post-divorce future.
The end of your marriage will certainly bring major financial changes, but you may work with your lawyer to fight for a fair settlement that allows you to enjoy your life after divorce and after retirement.