As you look forward at how soon retirement is approaching, one of the things you may realize is that you don’t see yourself retiring with your spouse. You may both have different preferences for how you live out your golden years, so it’s reasonable to have concerns and, in some cases, to look into getting a divorce.
Getting a divorce at an older age isn’t always straightforward. You may have been married for a long time and could have your finances completely intertwined. You may have adult children in college or have children with special needs who you’ll have to plan for. You could have stocks, bonds, retirement accounts and many other factors influencing your next steps as well.
Preparing for a gray divorce: Your first steps
To prepare for a gray divorce, the first thing you should do is consider talking to a divorce attorney. In your circumstances, there are many assets that you’ll want to protect, and you may need to plan carefully to make sure you’ll have all you need to retire on time as planned.
Before you meet with your attorney, it is helpful if you can collect copies of your legal and financial documents. If you have digital assets, like cryptocurrencies or digital stocks, make sure you have access to that information for your attorney, too.
Once you talk to your attorney about the divorce and what your goals are, you’ll be in a better position to make decisions that help you resolve your concerns. For example, you may know that you and your spouse both have retirement accounts but not be sure of the contents. Once you know their values, you can determine if you want to keep your own, ask for a portion of your spouse’s retirement income, seek alimony or take other steps to protect your finances.
Every divorce is different, so it’s valuable to go over your concerns and to learn more about your legal rights. Your first steps should be to learn about gray divorces and the specific issues that you may run into, so you can go into your divorce educated and prepared.