Perhaps you and your spouse are over the age of 50. You are empty nesters, you have grown apart over the years and have decided to divorce.
You have not only accumulated significant assets in terms of real property, but both of you also have pensions, IRAs and company retirement accounts. How will you divide those?
Identifying the needs of older couples
You must keep in mind that as an older divorcing couple, you will have different financial issues to manage than you would have had at a younger age. Your children are grown with families of their own, so there is no child support to worry about. However, the comfortable retirement plan you put together will no longer apply: Your nest egg is about to be cut in half and your financial future will look much different in the divorce settlement than it does now. Furthermore, you do not have the years left in which to recoup any financial losses that might occur.
Splitting into two households
Divorce means that you will be splitting one household into two and supporting both on the same amount of income you and your spouse currently receive. For most couples, this may not be easy. Your best course of action is to use a team approach to divorce. In addition to an attorney, you should also consider engaging the services of other professionals such as a financial advisor and an accountant who can put together a clear picture of your future expectations.
Dividing your accounts
Begin the division process by understanding that in the task of dividing your retirement accounts, each kind has specific rules you must follow. Seek guidance to help determine how best to do this. Find out about the tax consequences of dividing your retirement accounts and learn how you can maximize your finances and maintain security once you and your spouse go your separate ways.