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Property division really matters when divorcing near retirement

Going through a divorce at any time can be emotionally and financially challenging. However, for those in Massachusetts and elsewhere who are considering ending their marriages just before going into retirement, there are some things that may require more thought and negotiation in order to walk away financially unscathed. For instance, property division, though an important part of any divorce, really can make or break one's retirement -- depending on how it is handled.

According to a study out of Bowling Green State University, the divorce rate of couples over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990. It is far higher than the divorce rate of younger couples. This is believed to be tied to the feeling of financial security that many older couples tend to enjoy. However, without careful thought and planning, divorce can very quickly destroy one's economic shelter.

What can one do to help preserve one's monetary situation when filing for divorce? There are actually a few things that can be done. The first is to take stock of personal and marital assets, which involves reviewing the values of all financial accounts and property. Secondly, one can track current spending habits and look ahead to future expenses. Finally, one can review all expected sources of income.

By carefully reviewing all of these things, one can gain a better understanding of what to fight for during the divorce process. When heading into retirement, having a fair and balanced property division settlement truly can make all the difference in one's financial well-being. With the assistance of legal counsel, divorcing couples in Massachusetts can work to achieve such settlements.

Source: USA Today, "Nearing retirement and thinking about divorce? What to consider", Arielle O'Shea, Oct. 15, 2016

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