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What happens to assets when baby boomers divorce in retirement?

Getting divorced in your fifties or later presents a unique set of circumstances. Some things can make the process easier. Many couples have fully grown children and don't have to grapple over child custody or child support, which can make divorce proceedings particularly tenuous and, many times, drawn out.

But that doesn't mean a divorce among older individuals isn't without its challenges. With retirement on the horizon -- and, in some cases, having already arrived -- the financial situation for both sides is of utmost concern. Further complicating matters for Washington couples is that an equitable division of assets is often much more challenging then it may seen on the surface due to various tax and retirement implications.

With that in mind, there are several steps every older person who is going through a divorce should take. The first is to surround themselves with a team of professionals that can handle their unique circumstances and make sure nothing glaring is overlooked. In addition to a good divorce attorney, you should also seek out a financial advisor who can provide guidance on the various tax and retirement implications of certain assets.

Older individuals should also map out an itemized budget that lays out their expenses for the future. Your divorce support team can use that as a guideline for making sure you are financially covered through a settlement.

Finally, baby boomers should recognize the importance of protecting themselves by getting their names off various legal documents and contracts, informing insurance companies and banks of the pending divorce, and doing other legal housework to avoid being hit with unexpected liabilities and legal obligations.

Source: Fox Business, "Graying Divorces: What Boomers Need to Know to Protect Their Assets," Andrea Murad, May 25, 2012

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