Divorce at any age is painful. But, for seniors, separation introduces an extra set of challenges. If you're facing divorce later in life, it's vital you know how to move forward, especially when it comes to your finances. Here are two critical things you need to do now to protect yourself.
1. Consider Financial Freedom
The marital home, vacation home and the dream car you always wanted all seem like assets you want to keep after the divorce. However, you should put your financial freedom over your current wants.
Paying for all these assets was likely a venture you and your partner took on together. Even if the two of you are retired, you may be paying for these assets through your retirement accounts. After the divorce, any assets you keep will likely be your sole financial responsibility. Don't keep any property that you cannot comfortably afford to maintain.
If your ex wants the house and you know it will be a challenge for you to manage, don't fight their decision. You may feel like you're losing now, but in the end, you're making the best long-term decision. If neither you or your ex want the property, it may be best to sell the property and split the money between the two of you.
2. Assess Your Expenses
People sometimes mistakenly assume that the courts are automatically going to look out for your best interest. While this statement is not entirely incorrect, the courts can only help you when they know you're in need. It is your responsibility to provide accurate information.
It's essential that you assess your expenses now. Make a list of all your expenses as well as the amount of money you have coming in on a regular basis and any retirement income you have. You should also include any new expenses you will incur, such as a new apartment.
Now is not the time to be modest. You need to create a realistic record to ensure your bases are covered. Depending on your financial situation and the terms of the divorce, you may be entitled to receive spousal support. The more detailed your expense sheet, the better.
An attorney can help you through every aspect of divorce, including the major financial hurdles. If you're facing a divorce in your later years, your financial future depends on a successful and fair divorce settlement. Let a divorce lawyer work with you to ensure you're protected.