Divorce and Financial Issues: How to Safeguard Your Retirement

Worried woman looking at a bookA divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. You'll have to deal with a variety of aspects, such as division of assets, lawyer fees, child support, and alimony. However, even if you just want everything to be done with, it’s important that you take your time to decide on how you’ll handle your finances in the future.

An asset protection lawyer can help and guide you through the process.

Determine Which Assets You Want to Keep

Oftentimes, the most sought after asset during a divorce is the family residence. But you must first determine if you’re capable of making the mortgage payments (if applicable) and covering the utility bills, all while keeping some for your retirement savings. Otherwise, better have your soon-to-be ex-spouse keep the house or sell it and divide the profit between you two.

Close All Joint Accounts

These include all your joint checking and savings accounts, as well as credit cards and related joint debt accounts.

Consider the Tax Consequences on Your Retirement Savings

Different retirement accounts deal with taxes in various ways, such that you make contributions to traditional IRAs, 403(b)s, and 401(k)s pre-tax, while you make contributions to Roth IRAs after paying taxes on your earnings. This means the overall amount you have in your retirement account might not be the actual number, depending on your retirement account type because of taxes. That said, evaluate the tax implications before dividing your retirement assets.

Get Professional Help

It’s best to consult your divorce attorney to help you determine what you and your spouse are entitled to. You must also consider getting help from an asset protection lawyer who has experience in handling divorce cases.

While not all people will have a hard time with their finances post-divorce, not everyone will be as lucky. Fortunately, you have options to safeguard your retirement savings and any personal assets you might have. Following these tips would go a long way towards securing your retirement fund and your future after your divorce.