As we age, we tend to take stock of our situation. For some couples, this leads to the realization that they aren’t happy living with one another.

Your goals may have changed. Perhaps you’ve experienced a shift in your philosophical outlook. Whatever your reasons may be, gray divorces are becoming more and more commonplace. If you’ve decided to get a divorce later in life, planning ahead is essential to helping you ease into this new chapter of your life.

Financial considerations are important

Most older couples won’t have to worry about child custody agreements when their marriage has reached its end. For many, property division is the biggest issue to resolve. If you’re retired or are nearing retirement, you need to bear in mind your financial considerations.

You should collect any relevant financial paperwork, including:

  • Bank statements
  • Investment records
  • Tax returns
  • Mortgage and loan paperwork

You may also wish to have various assets appraised, including artwork, jewelry, and any property you may have beyond your primary residence.

What about retirement assets?

Any earnings put into a retirement account, such as a 401(k), during the length of the marriage must be split between the two of you. Typically, this requires a qualified domestic relations order or QDRO.

When dividing retirement assets, you need to consider potential tax implications or penalties for early withdrawal. You may be able to leave your retirement savings intact by offering additional assets to your ex to help account for the difference. A skilled legal professional can let you know all of your options and can help guide you through the divorce process.