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Why older divorcing couples should avoid financial mistakes

The divorce rate for people over the age of 50 is twice what it was 25 years ago, according to the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, divorce rates for older adults in Arizona and the rest of the nation are continuing to rise as more couples choose to go their separate ways near retirement age.

Getting a divorce can impact one's finances. However, there are certain things spouses can do to make sure that they will have a stable financial future after their divorce.

Before the first meeting with an attorney, a comprehensive list should be made of all assets. This inventory should include all jointly and individually held assets. Any inheritances that were received during the marriage and placed in joint accounts should also be included and brought to the attention of the attorney. It's important to note that inheritances are usually classified as separate property and not subject to division.

Older spouses who are getting divorced should also create a list that details all previous and current employers. There have been cases in which individuals have forgotten about work-related funds from deferred compensation, pensions, defined-benefit plans, stock options and profit sharing.

Spouses who will be paid alimony should make sure that there are provisions in place in case the payee is unable to pay due to disability, reduced income or death. They may also opt to receive a lump sum alimony payment instead of monthly payments.

A divorce attorney may advise clients of what type of legal strategies should be employed to obtain the desired divorce settlement terms. The lawyer may engage in litigation to protect the rights of a client.

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