When older adults in New York decide to get a divorce, they may be near retirement or already retired. Their finances may be complex, and they may have to rethink their retirement plans. They may need to build up their liquid savings or ensure that they are still able to help their children pay for college, and all of this will figure into the process of property division.
Having a plan for life after divorce is important for understanding what will be needed financially. Some people make life-changing decisions, traveling or creating a foundation. Others may decide they want to work in the community. Whatever the plan, it is important to have a full list of all marital assets and debts as well as individual ones. People may need to have some property appraised, such as antiques or art. They may also need to take steps to secure assets if they believe the other person may try to hide them.
Retirement accounts might make up a significant amount of the assets individuals have accumulated, but their division can be complicated. Depending on whether they are 401(k)s, pensions, IRAs or annuities, the rules for division differ. Once the divorce is over, people may need to update paperwork such as property titles and estate planning documents.
People might be able to negotiate property division with the help of their attorneys instead of having a judge determine this. This leaves them more in control and can be cheaper and less stressful than litigation. However, it is important that people do not let their emotions drive these negotiations. For example, people who are angry about the divorce should avoid trying to punish the other spouse during financial negotiations since this will just prolong the process and could lead to litigation.