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Women getting a divorce near retirement should be prepared

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | Divorce

In Arizona, people who are heading for a divorce will have inevitable concerns. For those who have young children, custody will come to the forefront. If there was significant property at stake, then property division can be alarming. In marriages where one spouse was the primary breadwinner, the spouse who earned less or functioned as a homemaker will have worries as to what the spousal support order will say. There are also factors that hinge on a person’s age and circumstance. For women who are heading toward an age where retirement is a consideration, it is imperative to be fully prepared. Part of that is knowing what to expect financially.

Divorce for those 45 and up can face troubling financial ramifications

Divorce at any age is complicated, but for those 65 and older, it could cause a litany of challenges. Women in that age range face greater vulnerabilities in general because of long-term income disparities that are still in place today. There are ways for women to be ready. Assessing finances is key. Arizona is a community property state meaning that the marital assets will be split evenly. This is compared to most states that use equitable distribution and strive to fairly distribute the assets. “Fair” does not mean equal, so those states will not necessarily split the marital assets 50-50. Marital property in an Arizona divorce will be shared evenly.

As women prepare for the divorce, there are steps to take including cancellation of joint financial accounts; changing the title on assets; updating life insurance, estate plans and retirement accounts; and analyzing insurance coverage. It might be necessary to adjust the lifestyle to adapt to the new normal. If that means spending less than she is accustomed to, so be it. Although support might cover for a portion of that, it is unwise to count on it as the case proceeds. For women who are younger but are a few years from considering retirement – in their mid-40s – it might be beneficial to think about finding a higher paying job. This can be helpful with savings.

Safe investments like a 401(k) plan is a strategic maneuver women should consider. If there is already an investment portfolio, assessing it can find potential flaws and mitigate them. Risky investments might have been worthwhile during the marriage, but after a divorce, safety should take precedence in most cases. In some families, the finances were handled by one partner. If a woman was uninvolved, she should learn about these factors and get professional assistance.

Experienced advice can help with finances in a divorce

It is natural to be fearful and to experience stress when getting a divorce, especially if the financial component is unsettled. For women who are thinking about their financial future, it is imperative to have professional advice from the start. Not only can this be useful when trying to maximize a spousal maintenance award, but it can help with finding resources and strategies for the future. Consulting with those who are experienced in family law is wise from the outset.