The divorce rate of couples 50 and older has rapidly increased in recent years. This means that after 20 or 30 years of marriage, couples are now splitting finances. If you have been saving and investing together for so many years, dividing finances may be difficult. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself.
Know your assets
If you are the spouse that is less involved in the finances, it is vital that you get involved. where it is. Find out which documents are in your name and keep proof of ownership. Make sure you have copies of everything: bank statements, tax forms and anything that has your signature.
Depending on the nature of your divorce, it may be necessary to have paper copies of all documents. If you and your spouse share account information, they may change the password. You may also want to close any shared bank accounts so that you are not responsible if they go on a spending spree.
Open your own bank account
Especially if you don’t have any separate accounts, you should open an account in your name as soon as possible. You will want to start keeping your money separate. You may also want to open a credit card account to start building your credit. This will be crucial if you relied on your partners income and have very few assets of your own.
Remember to keep paying your bills. Even if you move out of your home, you are still responsible for half the mortgage payment until the divorce is finalized.
What about your retirement accounts?
If you are in your 50s, retirement may not be too far away. The closer you are to retirement the more frightening the possibility of losing your nest egg becomes. In North Carolina, all shared accounts are subject to negotiation. If your spouse can prove that they were investing more into the accounts than you were, you will not receive an equal share.
If you find yourself in any dispute with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it is wise to hire an attorney. An attorney may be able to help you arrange temporary financial agreements during the divorce process.
It may also be a good idea to hire a financial planner. Since taking care of your finances on your own may be new for you, a financial planner can advise you on what to do with your money.