Divorce and Retirement - those two words just don't sound congruent, do they? Divorce around the time of retirement seems quite incompatible to me... but it happens.
Retirement and Divorce happens to long time 30 year marriages, as well as newer marriages that simply don't bear the test of time.
Legal Separation vs Divorce
Before you go through a divorce, you might consider a Legal Marriage Separation instead. Just another divorce option while you are in the "maybe" stage.
Evaluate your Marriage versus Divorce
First, evaluate your marriage and be honest with yourself -- how good was good and how bad was bad? Is it possible that you should try again? Did you stay together just because it was simpler than divorce? Was he/she controlling?
Everything suddenly changes -- good or bad -- depending on how you handle it. It's YOUR choice on how you live the rest of your life.. it really is!
Divorce and Retirement: Splitting Assets
Finances... your divorce lawyer will help you sort through the equitable split in your divorce monies and household items. Beware: an divorce attorney can totally help you; but the split depends on the couple agreeing on it all. Any attorney will charge you for every call, every court appearance -- so be fair and try to settle between the two of you as much as possible.
Save your monies for a long retirement, instead of making a divorce attorney richer.. Grin!
Divorce and Retirement: Always Understand your Finances
Now, you might have a good understanding on how finances are handled in your household. BOTH partners should always be aware of where important documents are located and how much you have in savings, and how expenses fit in your life. If you don't know, find out... always be aware of what your financial situation is.
If you are considering divorce, start documenting and copying some financial documents now. Plan ahead so you know what is out there in case funds are missing later...
Pension and Divorce
All company pensions in divorce are part of the marital assets to be split. Domestic Relations Orders (below) are the court document itself.
Divorce Court Order: Domestic Relations Order
Assuming you divorce, does the court order a Domestic Relations Order to split a company pension? QDRO / EDRO's are court orders issued in divorce situations to assure that spouses share an employers retirement benefits. If a divorce happens after years of marriage, don't miss out on this benefit, PLEASE don't simply forfeit your rights to a future benefit...
Follow your Intuition if Something Just Feels Wrong
Finally, BEWARE! We all know darn well that some spouses lie and cheat -- not all of them, but some do. If you even think something odd is happening, trust your intuition and watch closely.
Why blind yourself (it's called "denial", right?) if something is happening and you choose not to recognize it? If nothing else, get copies of all your financial statements, in case you need them some day....
Relationships after Divorce
What about new relationships after divorce? Do you go there?
Divorce is never nice... especially in retirement when you assumed you'd grow old together.