Retirement is difficult enough to save for, but when you throw a divorce in the mix, things can get a bit complicated. Most people have IRAs, 401ks, pensions, savings accounts, bonds, etc. When you get divorced, there are a few different ways that the court looks at these accounts. Here is a basic guide on how divorce can affect your retirement planning.
Community Property State
Texas is a community property state. Community property is all assets that you have acquired during your marriage. Your partner is entitled to 50% of all your retirement accounts from the date of marriage. Any money that was put into your account prior to marriage and after date of separation is your separate property. Some people’s financial history is complicated and a forensic accountant is needed to piece the exact value together. Discuss this with your attorney on whether that is required.
Analyze Your Time
Look at how long you have before your retirement. If you are young, you have time to build back up your retirement portfolio. If you are near retirement-age, you will need some help in liquidating assets so that you are able to handle the post-divorce finances.
Don’t Destroy Your Credit
The tendency is to rely on credit cards for the missing monthly income. This is the absolute worst thing you can do. If you are close to retirement age and are in financial distress, speak with a credit counseloror debt attorney. You can determine if perhaps bankruptcy is an option.
Part of being able to survive a divorce financially intact is proper planning. Speak to your attorney about your retirement, your assets, and what you can do to budget accordingly.