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Mistakes to Avoid in Late-life Divorce

Growing old isn’t easy, but throwing a divorce into the mix can make the process a nightmare. Unfortunately, there comes a time in many relationships when there is simply no other alternative. As you’re headed into retirement age, here are a few mistakes to avoid if you want the divorce to have as little impact on your plans as possible. 

Not Creating an Inventory of Your Assets

It’s not uncommon for one partner to know more about a couple’s finances than the other. If you’re the latter, then there are number of things you need to learn about your financial situation immediately. Those include:

  • Checking, savings, and investment accounts
  • Value of assets, including property
  • 401k, CDs, and other retirement savings
  • All insurance policies

It’s vital that you inventory these items prior to splitting them up, ensuring that you’re not on the short end of the financial stick. This also offers more negotiating power whether you decide to end the relationship through mediation or court.

Keeping the Old House

If it is possible for you to end up with your family home, you’ll need to make the choice of keeping it or selling it. This is a difficult decision, especially with so many memories tied to your residence. However, holding onto the home could be a potential financial disaster. 

Consider the cost of upkeep, property taxes, and emergency repairs you’ve already paid for over the years. Now imagine doing all of that with only one income. While you should always talk with legal representation first, like this divorce lawyer in Bloomington, IL, it usually makes the most sense to sell the home and split the profit. 

Not Knowing Your Debts

Multiple states have community property laws to deal with during a divorce, which means you could end up stuck with a significant portion of your spouse’s debt. Even states without those laws have ways to make both parties pay what’s owed. So, make sure you know where your combined debts stand before making a move. 

Forgetting Health Insurance

One commonly overlooked part of any divorce is health insurance. In many cases, one spouse is covered by the other’s policy. If that’s you, then make sure to factor in the amount you’ll need to pay in order to insure yourself. 

Ignoring the Taxes

Nearly every decision you make during the divorce comes with taxes. That includes selling the house, alimony, retirement plans, and investments. You might want to speak with legal representation skilled in family assets, like this Orange County family law attorney, first. 

That’s especially true if you still have children in the mix or are the primary caregiver for a relative. Regardless, you need to consider what taxes you could end up paying based on what decisions you make. Ideally, you want to work with your former lover to lower these costs. 

What to Do

While it might be difficult or near impossible, try to compromise with your ex-partner as much as possible. At this stage in your lives, you both need to act maturely and responsibly during the process to ensure you both walk away as financially sound as possible. The more you can compromise, the better off you’ll both be in the long run.  

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