When a couple ends a long marriage in Minnesota or any other state, the resulting divorce can have a significant impact on both parties’ long-term financial plans and investment strategies. A “gray divorce” comes with its own set of unique financial challenges in comparison with younger couples with relatively fewer assets and financial complexities.
Due to the extended length of your marriage, you probably have more assets and more complex assets to divide than younger couples. Plus, you will have less time to recover financially before you retire. You or your spouse may already be retired. Whether you are retired or close to retirement, your divorce settlement should take your future plans into account. While divorce is never an easy process, it helps to prepare in advance.
Plan for Your Future
As you envision your new post-divorce life, you will likely have new goals, a new sense of purpose or even just time to heal. Whatever your future plans look like, you will want to ensure that you will be financially stable. Consider how your lifestyle will change and think about what you will need. For example, you should have access to one or more savings accounts with emergency funds to cover 6 to 12 months of living expenses. You may also want to consider your retirement timeline and your savings goals. If you are supporting older children or grandchildren, you might want to factor in their financial needs.
Inventory Your Assets
If you compile all of your financial information before your divorce proceedings, you can better make sure that all assets are covered and that you are in a good position to negotiate for a fair settlement. Start with a list of all your outstanding debts like credit cards, loans, home equity lines of credit and mortgages. Then, list your assets. These can include items like cars, boats, real-estate, jewelry, art or any other valuables. It may be worth your time to have your assets evaluated by professional appraisers to help you understand your complete financial picture.
Divorce is never an easy process. However, with some advance preparation, you may be able to reduce the friction. A family law attorney may help ensure that you are in a good position to negotiate for a fair settlement and the best chance at a new life.