Going through a divorce when you are over 50 years old can prove to be a very traumatic experience. While the emotional toll might be considerable, the financial toll can be horrible. When you are going into a divorce, there are some important factors to consider as you work through the divorce settlement process.
In California, it is important to know what debts you and your spouse owe. California is a community property state, so even if your spouse has debts in their name only, you are likely still going to be held responsible for half of those debts.
Another consideration is the home if you own one. As nice as it might be to get the house in the divorce settlement, you have to consider the expenses associated with the home. Property taxes, upkeep, and other expenses might make a serious dent in your budget when you are having to cover those expenses alone.
Your health insurance, retirement and other financial matters like taxes all have to be considered during the divorce proceedings. The health insurance issue isn't necessarily a huge problem if you are eligible for Medicare, but prior to that it might prove to be quite expensive to get health care coverage. For your retirement accounts, you should know how to handle the IRAs in question using tools like the qualified domestic relations order, which allows you to make a single withdrawal from your ex-spouse's 401(k) without having to pay a penalty even if you are under 59.5 years old.
Understanding all the ways that property division issues can affect you is vital when you are going through a divorce. It is important for you to know the laws that can help protect you while you negotiate the divorce settlement.
Source: Investopedia, "Divorce Over 50: Seven Mistakes to Avoid" Catherine Fredman, Aug. 04, 2014