3 Ways Divorce Impacts Your Retirement
Divorce is a tumultuous and painful experience for everyone involved. Emotional and psychological effects inevitably have a disruptive effect on families, particularly when both spouses part ways in a less than amicable manner.
Children find themselves caught in the crossfire between two feuding parents. But even if families come to civil custody and child support agreements, the financial consequences of divorce remain—and they can be far more devastating over the long term.
When most people think about financial issues during divorce, they understandably think of fights over assets, such as real estate, property, and investments. These are certainly significant concerns, and if you are separating you will need the assistance of a reputable divorce attorney to come to an agreement that works for both of you.
However, you shouldn’t forget about retirement. Your plans for your golden years might look drastically different after a divorce. Here are some ways you can expect to see your retirement plans impacted:
The rules are complicated.
It goes without saying that your retirement savings are a valuable asset. However, if your spouse doesn’t work, or makes significantly less money than you do, your assets might not be protected during a divorce.
It’s important to know the rules and regulations inside and out before you sign on the dotted line. Retirement and pension plans typically have procedures built-in which must be followed in the case of divorce—and if you don’t follow them, you could be forced into forfeiting all or most of your assets.
Update your estate plan.
It is important to update your estate plan, including changing the beneficiary designation on your 401k, IRA, pension, and more. Many people assume incorrectly that a divorce judgment will cut off all of your ex’s rights. Protect yourself and your estate by updating your estate plan as soon as possible.
Any debt is considered a joint obligation.
If you owe any debt inside a retirement plan, it’s more than likely an obligation that you and your ex-spouse will have to face together, rather than individually. A 50/50 split can be arranged with the help of a divorce attorney, but sometimes divorce decrees state that the loan must be repaid in full before the division of assets.
If you are preparing to divorce in West Michigan, it is very important to speak with a Grand Rapids attorney with a specialization in family law. Otherwise, you could face a significantly diminished quality of life in your elder years.