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Special considerations for divorcing baby boomers

Readers of this Spokane Family Law Blog may recall a post earlier this month regarding how Washington state baby boomers, along with their contemporaries all over the United States, are divorcing more than ever before.

Baby boomers who are considering divorce need to carefully consider the effect that dissolution of marriage will have on their particular stage in life.

Retirement funds become especially important in divorces involving baby boomers. Baby boomers should take specific measures to ensure that any division of assets properly addresses their tax and retirement needs.

Divorce professionals recommend that divorcing baby boomers review both short- and long-term goals to develop a comprehensive financial plan. The recent recession has depleted many retirement funds and splitting these funds means less for each party than it would have when economic times were better.

Baby boomers should also carefully devise a realistic budget. Starting with an evaluation of cash flow, budgets should include realistic projections of spending and each party's fair financial obligation to the other.

Although many divorces involving baby boomers are amicable, some are not. Sometimes a party to the dissolution will drain accounts or use assets to obtain credit prior to equitable distribution. Remaining vigilant can prevent this, including writing letters to banks requesting notification when any changes are made to an account. A court filing called a lis pendens can also prevent the sale of the marital home before the divorce is final.

Dividing retirement accounts can be challenging and should be done according to the goals developed in the financial plan and budget. Couples married more than 10 years might also need to consider Social Security benefits.

Divorcing baby boomers also need to be honest about each other's habits and if possible, tailor the division of assets and spousal support agreements to support each person's lifestyle.

Working with an experienced divorce attorney will help ensure the divorce settlement is beneficial and reasonable for your short- and long-term needs.

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

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