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SMALL-FIRM ATTENTION.

These days, the divorce rate among older adults in Virginia is rising dramatically. Without question, a marital breakup at any age can be a very stressful and difficult experience. However, those who divorce later in life can face unique challenges, especially when it comes to financial matters. Many older spouses have accumulated numerous and complex assets, which can make for a complicated high-asset divorce. Here are a few ways to protect finances during this transition.

A well thought-out and organized plan on how a spouse might divide assets will usually help the divorce process go smoothly. It is recommended to start by taking inventory of all jointly and separately owned assets. These can include investments, real estate, insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement plans and pensions. Take inventory of all liabilities and debts as well, such as loans, credit card debt and mortgages. Seeing this information listed out can be extremely helpful when making settlement decisions.

After the divorce is final, there will still be some tasks to complete to get finances in order. Take time to retitle and update beneficiaries on property, bank accounts and brokerage accounts. Review and update beneficiaries as needed on wills and estate plans. Also examine insurance needs. It may be necessary to switch from an ex-spouse’s insurance plan and consider private coverage or an employer’s plan.

With anything in life, it helps to have a plan, and a divorce is no different. A late-life divorce can present some complicated financial issues. However, individuals in Virginia who are thinking about divorce or going through a marital breakup should know that help is available. A seasoned attorney can answer questions and guide individuals through a complex high-asset divorce.