Going Separate Ways

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Divorce has significant implications for day-to-day details and long-term plans.

Many marriages end in divorce   and when they do, fairly dividing investments and finances is typically more complicated than it was to combine them. It can be easy to get caught up in the numbers or emotions and forget about the other things in your life that may be affected. This is a moment to review your will, your insurance policies, your 401(k) and your brokerage and bank accounts in an endeavor to make clear where you stand financially. It is important to have good advice about the value of what you have, how liquid certain assets are and any new risks you may be facing, just to name a few things.

Avoid common mistakes. The experience of others can be a good teacher. Here are some common pitfalls that divorced people say you should try to avoid.

  • Overestimating retirement assets by failing to take into account the taxes you will pay on these assets at withdrawal.
  • Overemphasizing both the value and longevity of alimony. (If a former spouse passes away prematurely, or if you remarry, could you replace this income?)
  • Overlooking Social Security as you may be entitled to spousal benefits if you do not remarry.
  • Assuming that your former spouse will take care of your children as intended. (Consider that a new spouse or new children can change priorities and may have negative repercussions for your children.)

As with other major life changes, divorce will almost certainly impact your wealth planning objectives. It’s especially critical now to review where you are and to create new goals and new savings and investment strategies to help you secure your new future.

Review your estate plan. If you have custody of your minor children, consider taking these steps for their financial security and your peace of mind. Designate a guardian so a court won’t have to in the event of your death. You also may want to consider putting your assets in a living trust. This way, you can retain control over your assets in your lifetime. After your death, funds will be distributed according to directions in the trust’s document. That’s important, because a guardian — even one you designate — may not make decisions as you would like. Depending upon the trust’s terms, assets can also be protected from your former spouse, creditors and even spendthrift children.

A new lease on life insurance. If you and your former spouse have children together, consider purchasing an insurance policy on the life of your former spouse. Remember, if he or she remarries, it’s likely that the new spouse will become the beneficiary of an existing policy, making it wise for you to own a policy outright.

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Vicky Townsend is the proud mother of two amazing children, Kristen and Connor, and mother to two incredibly cute, and yet completely ill mannered dauschunds, Alfalfa and Froggy. Vicky is president and CEO of Inspiration University. Through Inspiration University, Vicky is able to help thousands of women across South Florida, grow their businesses, and increase their bottom line profitability. Vicky’s events inspire, motivate and inform women entrepreneurs to be their best and create the life they want. After a series of painful divorces, Vicky’s passion and purpose let her to her newest venture “The Café’ D”, an on line respite site for those that find themselves going through the pain of divorce, providing them with referrals, resources and emotional support at a most difficult time in their lives. She’s also created “National Association of Divorce Professionals”, which connects those in the industry with one another and helps them expand their referral base amongst industry professionals.

1 COMMENT

  1. I was forced to leave my home, my X husband closed our banking account, had control of all assets and after 3 years and 4 attorneys he got everything. He moved our /his retirement in hiding according to my attorney, a trace track found it in Utah and in divorce papers is stated that I am entitled to half if found after divorce. I receive disability and to this day that’s what I have to live on. He got everything and everything my attorney said he was working on ended up going from me and back to husband. I never got a fair trial much less a chance to go to court. Husband got everything obtained during marriage and all my things as well, gifts from my mother, my personal belongings. My husband made sure I couldn’t afford an attorney and drug our divorce out for 3 years which gave him time to move his retirement. The last thing my attorney said over a year ago.. The company I paid for and the best company that could find not only retirement but anything else he could of had that I wasn’t aware of. Tomorrow I have an appointment with my attorney but still feel that I have nothing to gain expecially after a year and assuming my husband had bought enough time and still got everything and left me with my health insurance alimony or anything else.Not only did 4 attorneys fail me the money borrowed for my attorney fees can’t be paid back. At this point I have no trust in the law or attorneys because none of this was fair and it’s because I couldn’t pay fees much less pay attorney to care about me and stand up for my rights according the law.

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