Although divorce rates in the U.S. are somewhat declining, divorce rates among people over the age of 50 continue to rise. Just 20 years ago, one in 10 spouses who divorced was over the age of 50. Today, 1 in 4 divorced spouses is 50 or older. Divorces that take place when people are older are called “grey divorces.” For some, getting divorced at this age means they must consider financial obstacles that they might never have thought about before. A mid- to later-life divorce can ruin retirement plans and insurance coverage if one spouse depends on the other for these things. From legal fees to living expenses, it is important to know how to protect your financial future. In this blog, we explain three mistakes that you want to avoid making during a grey divorce.
Mistake #1: Failing to Document Assets
In many divorce cases, one spouse has more knowledge than the other about their finances. When this happens, the spouse who is informed about savings and investment accounts can get hold of these assets before the other spouse has the opportunity to make an inventory of assets. If you are getting divorced, you need to list all of the assets you and your spouse own before trying to split them up.
Mistake #2: Not Knowing Your Debts
If you live in a community property state, you can be held responsible for some of the debts that your spouse owes. In some non-community-property states, you can even be held responsible for what you owe on jointly held credit cards or loans. To ensure that you aren’t caught off guard by any debts that you or your spouse owe, you should both get a full credit report.
Mistake #3: Hiding Assets
When there is a lot of money at stake, spouses are sometimes tempted to hide their assets to make it appear as though they have less money to contribute to the divorce settlement. It is illegal to conceal assets during a divorce and can end up costing you more in legal fees if they are discovered. You can also face fraud or perjury charges for hiding assets from the court.
Do you need help with your divorce settlement? Contact our team of Fairfax divorce lawyers to schedule your case consultation today.