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Divorce presents challenges at every age

37598803_S.jpgFor many individuals in Columbia, divorce can be an emotionally trying experience. The fabric of your daily life is unraveled and you have to deal with resetting many of your basic functions, how you interact with your children and even where you live.

In addition to this emotional tumult, you have to change your financial expectations. For younger couples, as challenging as this may be, there is one advantage of divorcing earlier in your marriage: time. You have the time to learn new skills, return to school, and you still have many years of your working life ahead.

With the increase in divorce among older couples, questions of how divorce will affect the prospect of retirement gain importance. Divorce can be expensive and even in a straightforward proceeding with little drama and minimal conflict, the effect of divorce on a couple's finances is challenging.

You will have to fund two households, with increased expenses, but with virtually the same income to divide among those households. This makes the property division element of your divorce agreement all the more important. You may not have decades to rebuild your finances, so it becomes essential that you obtain an agreement that best protects your interests.

If you have investments, the share you receive may need to be refocused to serve your changed circumstances. In addition, you need to check all financial instruments that have beneficiary information and make certain that those designations are changed. Life insurance policies are controlled by the terms of the contract and are unaffected by you divorce settlement.

Failure to change the beneficiary designation could mean your former spouse could receive payment, which is unlikely to be the desired outcome. Your attorney can help ensure that these types of detail are dealt with before your divorce is final and unpleasant consequences result.

Divorce is always challenging, but for older couples there are particular issues and you want to ensure that your divorce settlement is optimally designed for your situation.

 

Source: forbes.com, "Easing The Financial Impact Of Divorce In Retirement," Juliette Fairley, January 22, 2016

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