Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Mistakes to avoid and tips to follow in a divorce later in life

Divorce can have a huge impact on your finances, especially if you are unprepared for what lies ahead. A study by Alianz Life found that over 60 percent of divorcees reported that their divorce caused serious financial issues in their newly single life. Many survey respondents said that their divorce was a wake-up call to get serious about finances.

Divorce can be difficult at any age, but it is particularly challenging for older adults. Many older adults have stayed in bad marriages for the sake of their children. Others are forced to divorce later in life when their spouse becomes abusive or develops an alcohol addiction. Older adults need to be particularly concerned about their finances and focus on supporting themselves after their divorce.

It is important to get the right information to address all the major areas affected by your split, including property division and personal finances, as well as child custody arrangements and child support for couples with kids at home.

If it is at all possible to negotiate a settlement agreement outside of court, experts recommend that as it can save you time and money. However, the reality is that many soon-to-be ex-spouses don't get along or have assets that have not been disclosed. In such cases, litigation may be necessary. Protect yourself by gathering as much documentation as possible. This includes bank account information, property titles, debt records and any other documents that relate to your financial status. This will make it easier to identify everything that needs to be divided between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Divorces can be difficult, but by thoroughly preparing for what's to come you can protect your finances and smoothly transition into the next phase of your life.

Source: Fox Business, "Biggest mistakes older women make in divorce," Casey Dowd, June 4, 2017

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