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Baby boomers should protect assets during divorce

Ending a marriage in Arizona can be an exhausting experience, both emotionally and financially. The financial piece is often more complicated in longer marriages, or when one or both spouses is approaching retirement. This is becoming an issue for many people as one in four divorces are among baby boomers.

Dividing property and assets can be an extra tedious process when retirement is in view. Nonetheless, high-asset divorce attorneys can help spouses reach a favorable settlement, enlisting a private mediator or financial professional when necessary. Each case is unique, but there are a few things that all baby boomers should think about when they are preparing for divorce.

  1. Develop a financial plan. Write your short- and long-term financial goals down on paper, so that your family law attorney will better understand your assets, your best interests and when you can retire. Looking at this plan will also help you learn whether it would be advantageous to make any lifestyle changes.
  2. Create a budget. By writing down your expenses, you will get an idea of how much it will cost to maintain your desired quality of life after divorce.
  3. Keep your eyes open. The sad truth is that divorce can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Keep a watch to see whether your spouse takes loans against assets or empties bank accounts. Some divorce professionals suggest contacting your banks and requesting that they alert you if there are any significant changes to your accounts. Others suggest filing a lis pendens to keep your spouse from selling the house before the divorce is final.
  4. Research health insurance. If you are on your spouse's health insurance policy, it can be beneficial to begin looking for a new policy.
  5. Evaluate your property or assets. Sometimes, a spouse is entitled to half of certain assets or accounts, but it would be more beneficial to make trades rather than split assets 50/50. Take a look at retirement accounts, pension plans, the family home and Social Security benefits and begin thinking about your options.

These suggestions are only a starting point, and they are not meant to be overwhelming. An experienced Arizona family law attorney will look at the unique circumstances of your divorce and work with you to reach the best possible outcome.

Source: Fox Business, "Graying Divorces: What Boomers Need to Know to Protect Their Assets," Andrea Murad, May 25, 2012

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