If you are an older adult in Indiana who is going through a divorce, you may face a number of financial challenges. Getting a divorce in your 50s, 60s and later can mean revising your retirement plans and making some difficult choices about how to divide assets.
Hidden debts and other surprises
Whether you are the higher earner or you have not worked outside the home in years or decades, a divorce can disrupt your financial plans for the future. In some cases, digging into marital finances can reveal some unpleasant surprises, such as debts incurred by your estranged spouse that you will now be considered legally responsible for. If you think your spouse is hiding assets, you may need to hire a financial investigator. If one spouse provided health insurance through their job, the other person may need to replace that. Hopes for an early retirement may turn into the realization that working for a few more years is in the cards.
Mistakes to avoid
On the other hand, while there may be financial struggles at the outset, by downsizing their lifestyle, people are often able to recover from the divorce within a few years. It is important to avoid certain mistakes, such as keeping the family home for sentimental reasons when the upkeep is too expensive for one person to manage. Another common error is not taking taxes into account when assessing the value of retirement accounts and other assets. If you have college-aged children, you may want a provision in the divorce agreement that specifies who will pay for their education.
With careful planning, divorce can represent a temporary financial setback rather than a long-term financial shock. Setting aside emotions to focus on the division of property as a legal and financial matter can help improve your decision-making.