Nancy L. Sponseller

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Safeguarding financial security through late-life divorce

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

Financial fallout for Ohio couples who divorce after the age of 50 has the potential to be devastating, say many legal advisers. Many people in their fifties are planning for retirement, which means they are trying to save money. A recently divorced individual’s lifestyle typically costs more to sustain than a married couple’s, however, since he or she is now responsible for paying all the operating expenses associated with running a household.

Late-life divorce is typically harder on women than it is on men. According to a report issued by the General Accounting Office, the average drop in a woman’s post-divorce income is 41 percent while the analogous decrease for a man is only 20 percent.

Financial counselors who specialize in divorce planning emphasize that the equitable division of marital property is a critical step for individuals in this age group who want to safeguard their financial security. This process begins with a thorough review of all marital property and assets. Small assets like pension plans associated with bygone employment and overpaid estimated taxes are easily overlooked, but they do add up. It’s essential to perform a methodical review of all tax returns, pay stubs, property deeds, vehicle registrations, insurance policies, account statements, and even awards-program documents such as frequent-flyer miles. It’s equally essential to stay on top of joint liabilities such as those reflected in credit card statements and loan documents.

Equitable asset division may help minimize financial fallout that might otherwise compel a divorcing individual to defer retirement, sell a home, or cash in a life insurance policy, things that he or she may not really want to do. An experienced family law attorney can help a client contemplating a late-life divorce with the marital asset division process.

Source: NASDAQ, “Keep an Eye on Finances During a Divorce“, May 23, 2014