Property division, asset distribution may affect retirement

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Going through a divorce can be liberating and binding all at the same time. An individual may be eager to finally split away from his or her spouse, but the split-up also could be costly financially and affect a person's savings account down the road. People who are near retirement in Virginia are especially at risk of losing more than they bargained for if they don't approach property division and asset distribution with special care.

Two people who decide to stay married during their golden years can use the money they've saved to cover their household expenses during retirement. However, if they get divorced, they may have to use that same amount of money to cover two households. As a result, dissolving a marriage certainly can be more expensive in the long term.

In addition, newly divorced individuals might not to be able to keep up with the rising cost of living. This means they struggle to rebuild their savings for retirement. When dividing retirement savings during a divorce proceeding, it's wise for an individual to specify percentage splits instead of splits based on dollar amounts, just in case the market ends up rising or falling.

It is essential that a person consider how aspects of a divorce, such as property division, will affect his or her financial situation in the coming years. It's helpful if the couple have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, which ensures that their wishes on such matters are met. However, they also can choose to negotiate in these areas. If they still cannot find common ground, a judge will get involved to determine issues that remain in dispute. In any case, both individuals have the right to pursue their own best interests in Virginia.

Source: cnn.com, "Don't let divorce wreck your finances", Karen Cheney, April 4, 2014

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