Key Planning Issues at Divorce
Divorce is an emotionally difficult experience which significantly affects the lives of all involved. Aside from the emotional toll, there is an even greater financial risk if the correct information and appropriate assumptions are not used during the process of dividing assets, calculating alimony and determining child support. Below are some considerations that should be included in the process of discussing a divorce settlement. It is important to seek the guidance and advice of a knowledgeable Fee-Only financial advisor before your settlement is finalized and ensure you put your best financial foot forward.
- Complete disclosure.
- Equity and equality.
- Characteristics of the proposed division: Future tax implications? Real property? Income producing? Depreciating or growing?
- Will both parties be self-sufficient following divorce?
- Will income meet expenses, including housing, taxes, savings and retirement saving?
- Are payments for college expenses and maintenance backed up with insurance in case the ex-spouse dies prematurely?
- Do you understand your rights and privileges related to Social Security benefits?
Future Net Worth
- Does one partner have greater earning power and better future prospects?
- Does one partner have better benefits? Paid vacations? Employer health coverage, life insurance, stock options, retirement contributions by the employer?
Preventing Future Disagreements
- Who will pay for college expenses for minor children?
- If there is a division of pension benefits, do you know what will happen if the employed spouse dies before benefits become payable?
- Are you eligible to receive pension benefits at normal retirement age even if the ex-spouse keeps working?
- If qualified retirement plans are to be divided, the QDRO must be approved by the court and the administrator of the Plan, before the final paperwork is signed?
- Are alimony payments and other future payments insured?
- Have you reached agreeable custody terms?
- How will you be affected if you or your ex-spouse remarries?
- Will your children be included in your ex-spouse's estate?
» Read More: Life's Pathways, Separated or Divorced