Gearing up for a divorce and retirement at the same time? The prospect is not exactly appealing, and Michigan couples in this situation may feel overwhelmed by the potential financial repercussions. Still, you should not let these fears hold you hostage in an unhappy marriage.
While there are certain financial implications in divorce, a proactive approach can minimize the impact. This includes keeping a close eye on finances and future retirement needs.
Am I alone in this?
So-called "gray divorce" is certainly not uncommon. The Pew Research Center reported that, since the 1990s, the divorce rate for people aged 50 and older has doubled. Although couples who are on their second marriage or who tied the knot only a short while ago are more at risk, many people with 30 years of marriage behind them are calling it quits.
However, this means that there is more on the line in terms of assets and major life changes. A couple who divorces in their 30s has more time to rebuild their assets and focus on retirement, while someone who is in their mid-50s might struggle with these issues.
Have your paperwork ready
Keeping paper copies of important financial information is a good idea. Leaving the only available physical copies in your soon-to-be ex's possession is not. Make sure you get copies of all important documents regarding:
- Bank accounts
- Credit card statements
- Retirement accounts
- Car registrations
- Insurance documents
- And more
If you no longer have access to these physical copies, contact the appropriate institutions and request your own. Make sure they are stored in a safe place and that you are familiar with their content. Doing so will help you understand where you have leeway and where you must draw the line during property division.
Retirement is not out of the question
You worked for decades to save for retirement, and now it feels like everything is on the line. You may feel worried about how much of your savings will go to your ex or if there will be enough left over to support you throughout retirement.
Aside from educating yourself regarding your financial situation, you may also benefit from expert guidance. An experienced Michigan family law attorney can help explain your situation more fully and will be there to advocate for your rights throughout the divorce process.