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Financial tips to lessen the pain of divorce

In recent decades, divorce rates have plummeted in North Carolina and across the country. But 25 percent of those couples separated before their 10th anniversary and 10 percent didn't even make it to their 5th. The Wall Street Journal has noted a spike in divorce or breakups by people over 50. Most couples getting divorced at any age don't understand that a breakup will require them to face seriously complicated financial problems in today's economy, and each couple usually has competing interests. Couples could protect themselves by getting financially educated.

Signing up for an adult-ed course on taxes or investing can help couples get a good start. The courses can teach spouses techniques on saving money. Updating beneficiaries on retirement plans and insurance policies is also a good way to protect oneself so that proceeds don't end up with someone else. Preparing and making sure a will and property intentions are up to date may be a way to alleviate financial burdens in the future. And letting heirs know about one's assets and other retirement plans, where they are and how to dispose of them should be a step covered by both spouses.

Separation may not be an easy thing when it comes to divorce and property distribution. Prenuptial agreements, alimony and child support are all issues that may need to be agreed upon and divided between spouses. Divorce mediation could help couples come to an agreement that is fair for both sides.

When trying to divide assets, an attorney may be consulted about rights and laws concerning divorcing couples. The attorney may mediate with the court and be able to find a way for both parties to come to an agreeable conclusion.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Financial Tips That Ease the Sting of Divorce", Julian Block, December 25, 2013

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