In Virginia, there are times when couples get a divorce after many years of marriage. In these cases, the marital estate can contain investments and other property. It can also hold retirement accounts that both spouses are relying on to help fund their retirements. Given that these accounts must now support two people, there will likely be negotiations about who gets what from the accounts.
Gray divorces require advance preparation and planning. The obvious goal is for each spouse to be able to maintain their lifestyle after the divorce and not have to push off retirement for too long. Nonetheless, people need to recognize that there will be some impact to their post-divorce financial life. The goal is to minimize the effects that the divorce will have.
The first thing that someone needs to do is to take an extensive inventory of their finances. This includes their assets and liabilities. They should also have an idea of what their spouse may have in their name because it will be a part of the marital estate. An individual should then ask themselves the hard questions about how the choices they make in the divorce will affect their ability to retire and leave money to future generations. If the divorce is expected to be contentious, a person should take extra preventative steps to protect themselves financially.
Hiring a divorce attorney is the first step towards preparing for a gray divorce. When there are assets involved, an attorney might help with strategies to achieve the best possible division of assets. If the case is going to be contested, it is even more important to have a divorce attorney. The attorney may represent their client in court if there is a dispute about how the marital assets will be divided between the two spouses.