Couples in Minnesota who are getting a divorce close to or after retirement may have less financial flexibility to weather the loss of assets in divorce. Therefore, it is important for them to go into the divorce with a full understanding of their marital and personal finances as well as how their lives will change after the divorce.
A list of jointly and individually owned property, including appraisals for items such as jewelry and antiques, can help a person start to think about how the process of property division might go. It can also be helpful to gather tax returns and other financial documents. People should then think about their post-divorce lifestyles. Some people might need to focus initially on building up an emergency savings fund. Others may want to ensure that they have enough money to offer support to their children or their grandchildren. Others may want to start a foundation or travel the world.
For some older couples, retirement accounts may be among the most substantial assets that they own. It is important that they divide these according to regulations, which vary depending on whether the account is an annuity, a pension, an IRA or a 401(k). Tasks to be completed after the divorce is final may include revising the estate plan and retitling assets.
Couples may want to try to negotiate an agreement for property division instead of going to court. Their attorneys can assist them with this process. This can be less expensive than litigation and gives people more control over the agreement, but people may want prepare by knowing ahead of time what they are and are not willing to compromise on. While negotiation is generally less stressful than litigation, people who want to get it over with quickly might make poor decisions if they rush through the process.