The divorce rate for residents of Washington who are over 50 continues to increase even while the rate, in general, remains steady. When older people divorce, the concern is often about the financial implications and the possible impact on each spouse’s retirement plans. It is very important that older residents protect their financial interests when they are so close to retirement.
During a divorce, the financial interests of people over 50 are often threatened when they inadvertently commit certain mistakes. These include failing to:
- Take the time to clearly identify all assets and debts
- Gather a team of professionals to assist during the process
- Account for health insurance costs and how they will be covered
- Carefully make decisions concerning the division of retirement accounts and pensions
- Understand the tax consequences of their decisions
- Budget properly for life as a single person
Ways to protect your financial interests
Older couples tend to have gathered more wealth from more varied sources. During a high-asset divorce, it is necessary to understand the true state of the couple’s finances by gathering information on all assets and debts.
As a community property state, Washington courts assume that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, which were not gifts or inheritances, are owned by both spouses and therefore must be divided. There are also questions about beneficiaries, which must be changed depending on the type of policy. This is where a team of professionals can help.
If you are going through a divorce after 50, you should focus on getting through it in a stable financial state. However, you should also focus on protecting your retirement plans to ensure your future.