Financial questions divorce

Financial Questions You Should Be Asking During Divorce, by Age Range

What financial questions or considerations should a person be asking/making when divorcing in their 20s? 30s? 40s? 50s or 60s? While many of the questions below could easily be repeated or be applicable across the board, here are a few key questions to ask yourself, depending on your age range at the time of your divorce:

20s:

  • Do we fully understand which assets are separate vs. marital property subject to division?
  • Were we married long enough for spousal support or maintenance to come into play?
  • Do either of us have professional education debts or significant credit card debt and do we know how to classify it?
  • Do we have children whose best interests need to be considered in financial decisions?
  • If we have a marital home, do we have a game plan for what happens to it?  Is it realistic?

30s:

  • Do we have children whose best interests need to be considered in financial decisions?
  • If we have a marital home, do we have a game plan for what happens to it?  Is it realistic?
  • If marriage was not long-term and has implications on spousal support, what are my plans for future income generation?
  • What are the tax implications of child and spousal support?
  • What post-divorce changes will need to be made in the short-term to adjust to new financial picture?

40s:

  • If we have children, do their ages impact child support?  Do we have savings that were intended to be used for college education or other investments that need to be considered?
  • If we have a marital home, do we have a game plan for what happens to it?  Is it realistic?
  • If I wasn’t the primary income earner in the marriage, do I have income earning potential and how might that impact spousal maintenance?
  • Do I need to develop a post-divorce financial plan to get back on track for retirement considering the changes in my financial situation?

50s:

  • What significant career or business assets have we obtained, including but not limited to businesses, defined benefit plans or executive compensation assets, require valuation and characterization of marital vs. separate property?
  • How will we strategically divide accumulated assets to maximize outcome and minimize cost of additional services required to divide assets (e.g. selling costs, QDROs, etc.)?

60s:

  • When will retirement benefits begin paying out and how might property division decisions impact this?
  • How will my social security benefits be impacted by the divorce?
  • Do we understand how life insurance policies will be treated?

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