Life expectancy has increased, and women, especially, express concern about outliving their assets following a later-in-life divorce.
If you are facing divorce as a woman over 50, here are four tips to help you prepare for property division and the post-divorce stage of life you are about to enter.
1. Gather records
The first step to a less stressful divorce is to gather your financial documents together. These include items such as bank account statements, brokerage statements, loan documents, credit card statements and tax returns. Your attorney will need one copy of everything but be sure to keep a copy for yourself.
2. Understand retirement accounts
The division of retirement accounts can become complicated. Some, such as a 401(k) or a pension require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), a court order that designates the portion of proceeds a former spouse should receive. Your attorney can help you understand how the division of retirement accounts works.
3. Know how much you owe
Property division is not only about dividing assets. You and your soon-to-be ex will also divide your marital debts. Order a full credit report so you know exactly what you owe.
4. Document valuables
It is not uncommon for a spouse to hide assets when facing divorce. It is a good idea for you to take photos of valuables, such as antiques, art and jewelry.
You may want to add an accountant or financial planner to your legal team. Along with your divorce lawyer, these professionals can help you fashion a new lifestyle and the budget to maintain it. You may live for many years yet and you have the right to enjoy a secure financial future.