Many couples get divorced every year in the United States. However, older couples have the highest divorce rate in the country. In fact, the divorce rate for older couples continues to increase, according to a study by Bowling Green State University.
More couples over the age of 50 are getting divorced and many of these spouses may not know what questions to ask. The divorce process can be complex, but there are several financial considerations to make after you decide to get divorced. Getting divorced later in life can significantly impact your financial goals and retirement dreams so it is very beneficial to know what questions to ask and what issues to address before the divorce has been finalized.
What financial steps you should take if you are over the age of 49 and getting divorced in Washington? There are many considerations to make, but one of the most important things to do is gather your financial documents. You should keep track of your financial accounts, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, financial statements, loans, estate planning documents, insurance policies and property information. In addition to keeping track of your assets and financial accounts, it is important to know what debts you have.
In Washington, you can be held liable for your spouse's debt so it is best to try and gather documents on your debt as well as your spouse's now before you are contacted by a debt collector in the future.
You should also consider the tax implications of getting divorced and how you will have to file your taxes in the future. Don't forget to look into your health insurance options after the divorce to make sure you have adequate coverage that is still affordable.
Even though this may seem like a lot of work, taking steps now to understand the financial impact of divorce and what documents to obtain will help you in the long run.
Source: Forbes, "Protecting Your Finances In A Divorce: Essential Dos and Don'ts," April 8, 2014