Anyone filing for a divorce should consider his or her financial situation. More couples are deciding to divorce at a late age instead of thinking about retirement. This makes the financial analysis more difficult, especially for women who have been out of the labor force.
Retirement is more expensive for someone who is living alone. According to the American Academy of Actuaries, singles have a 40 to 50 percent higher cost of living than couples living together. Income for a divorced household can drop 25 percent for men and more than 40 percent for women. Financial planning is highly recommended for considering divorce.
It is best to start by obtaining a recent credit report. Checking once a year is free of cost. You will need to be fully aware of any debt that you or your spouse has and if there is joint debt; you may be responsible for half.
Next, it is recommended to make copies of all relevant financial statements, including tax returns, bank statements, brokerage statements, credit card statements, loan applications, deeds to property, insurance policies, car registrations, and any wills or trusts. Any records that document separate property such as family gifts or inheritances should also be copied. Even in a divorce where the parting is amicable, sometimes paperwork can disappear when you need a copy of important documents.
Personal items such as jewelry and household goods with sentimental value, or irreplaceable items like family photographs should be documented and safeguarded. Divorces that start off relatively calmly can escalate and lead to irrational and hurtful acts between spouses.
Receive professional help by hiring a lawyer and a financial planner to help guide your decisions and protect your financial interests for retirement. You will need to determine if you should keep or sell the house, if alimony should be a monthly payment or lump sum, etc. Once you have your advisors in place, keep records of the time spent on your case since billing is done by the hour.
Make sure that you are really getting your fair share when it comes to dividing everything. Take everything you are entitled to even if you do not want it, you may be able to sell it or use it to bargain for something you want. You may also be eligible for some of your spouse’s Social Security benefits if you were married for 10 years or longer, are not currently married, are not entitled to your own higher benefits, and are aged 62 or older.
The more you educate yourself about the process, the happier you will be with the outcome. Plan as much as you can and protect your interests, financial and otherwise, so that you will be ready and able to move on with your life after divorce.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Provide Compassionate Counsel to Those Seeking a Divorce
If you are considering a divorce, contact the Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC who are experienced in all family law matters. Call 443-589-0150 or contact us online to arrange a free and confidential consultation. From our offices in Hunt Valley and Towson, we are here to serve clients throughout Maryland, including the greater Baltimore area.