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Unraveling assets in later life Columbus divorces

The longer you've been with a spouse, the more assets and liabilities you likely have in common. Property and debt accumulated during marriage, not otherwise designated as separate property, is marital property and subject to division during an Ohio divorce. Financial upheaval can be shocking for Columbus couples who choose to divorce later in life.

Many older spouses aren't aware of all the assets they have going into a divorce, like a forgotten pension from a decades-old employer or a spouse's hidden bank account. Once property is located, it must be valued, which may require a financial or legal adviser's assessment. It may be necessary to calculate an asset's past, present and future value for fair property division.

Splitting investments, retirement funds and real estate after years of marriage can be complicated, especially when factoring in tax implications. Just because property is worth a set amount during the divorce process doesn't mean the asset will retain that value after the decree. For instance, many spouses consider marital homes valuable until years later when the mortgage, maintenance and taxes are overwhelming on a single income.

Divorce settlement negotiations should be flexible enough for parties to consider different options concerning difficult-to-divide assets. An attorney or certified divorce financial analyst can explain the consequences of financial decisions. Keep in mind finances, especially for older spouses, can take a severe hit after divorce.

The Government Accountability Office reported male ex-spouses averaged income losses of over 20 percent following divorce. For women, the loss of income was a staggering 41 percent. With limited, future income-producing opportunities, spouses who divorce in or near retirement can suffer a serious financial backlash.

Knowledge may never be more important than during divorce, following decades of marital wealth building. Attorneys and financial counselors help clients make the most of property division during divorce; the advice can be invaluable to future financial security.

Source: NASDAQ, "Keep an Eye on Finances During a Divorce" Kiplinger, May. 23, 2014

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Treneff Cozza Law, LLC
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