Older divorcing couples, Part 2: making smart financial decisions

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Thursday, July 3, 2014.

We discussed some special concerns of persons involved in so-called “gray divorces” in our immediately preceding blog post. A financial strategist and media commentator on divorce says that those people — divorcing individuals in their 50s and beyond — need to view divorce “as a business transaction.”

Jeff Landers additionally notes that divorcing baby boomers “need to crunch the numbers.”

We alluded to that in our prior post, noting that finances can be a critically important component of the divorce process for many older couples who are severing the marital knot after years — often decades — of living together.

Making a financial mistake during divorce negotiations can be especially disastrous for someone with comparatively less time to make amends for that error later on.

Put this way: If you are a boomer focused on equitable property division in your divorce and yet still miss a key source of wealth in your spouse’s name that should have been accounted for and fairly divided, you have failed to capture something of critical importance.

As a gray divorcee, you “may have difficulty recovering” from such a loss, states one family law commentator, who additionally notes that, “There isn’t much time left to enhance portfolios post-divorce.”

The need for early, close and consistent input from a focused attorney highly experienced in property division matters is obvious for a divorcing baby boomer with limited income and relying upon a fair share of a soon-to-be-ex spouse’s retirement and other assets following divorce.

Indeed, there is much to think about. In many boomer divorces, stock options, deferred-compensation plans, pensions and other savings vehicles are of key importance in a property settlement. Missing something can have a flatly detrimental effect on a divorcing person’s future plans and options.

Among other things, the job of a proven property division attorney is to ensure that all material assets are identified and equitably allocated in a divorce proceeding, and that a client isn’t shortchanged in the process.

An experienced St. Louis metropolitan area asset division lawyer can provide further information.

Source: The New York Times, “Retirement plans thrown into disarray by a divorce,” Constance Gustke, June 27, 2014

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