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Divorce settlement needs objective focus and full information

In Georgia and all other jurisdictions, negotiating a settlement in a divorce is more difficult for a person over 50 due to several factors. There are higher stakes generally, and most importantly, it's not as easy to start fresh and obtain everything that one needs for retirement at such a later point in life. Like all other litigation matters, a divorce settlement comes more easily if both parties can be objectively focused on a fair property division, without the interference of an emotional overlay.

Some financial advisers recommend viewing the matter as a business transaction, without the emotional baggage that often arises to complicate finding a resolution. It's true that the time, resources, and legal fees will be kept at a minimum if the fighting is kept out of the picture. Additionally, the return back to those parties who can remain calm and focused on the financial picture is exponentially greater when emotional interferences are absent.

The key is to have all of the players, such at attorneys, financial advisers and any others on the same page for a divorce litigant. Calculations must be made to determine the true value of an asset in the years ahead. These computed values must be coordinated with the goals and special anticipated needs of the client.

Also, it's important to know and account for what is called hidden debt. Knowing the pitfalls that may occur in the future and the costs and expenses that may crop up, will help in negotiating a fair figure that is based in reality. Also, individual debts and joint credit cards must be revealed by both parties. All such accounts that may come back to haunt an unsuspecting party must be taken care of during the negotiations.

Healthcare needs, insurance and future entitlement to Social Security benefits should be explored and understood as thoroughly as possible. An objectively pursued settlement does mean that the matter will be rushed through without adequate information. On the contrary, the best divorce settlement in Georgia and elsewhere is always based on a foundation of solid knowledge of the complete financial picture.

Source: USA Today, "Protect finances in later-in-life divorce", Anna Helhoski, Nov. 23, 2014

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