Marriages that last decades can be difficult to end, partially because of all the assets that need to be divided. There usually aren’t minor children still at home who need to have parenting plans set up, but that doesn’t ease much of the stress.
Working through the property division process involves splitting up assets like retirement accounts. It’s best to consider how various methods will affect you today and in the future. As you’re going through the process, remember these three points:
Qualified domestic relations order
Unless you have retirement accounts that are roughly the same value, you’ll have to split up the ones you have. This may require a qualified domestic relations order, which is a set of court-ordered rules for moving money around from the retirement account. The QDRO must be approved by the plan administrator and can only order actions allowable by the plan.
Adult children may struggle
Even though they aren’t still living at home, adult children may struggle with their parents getting divorced. They may wonder how things are going to work now and they’ll likely go through a period of mourning because of the split.
Year of firsts
You may be on an emotional rollercoaster as you go through the “year of firsts,” like the first Valentine’s Day or other holidays on your own, or your first solo vacation. This is a time of transition, so be prepared for positive feelings about the divorce and negative feelings about some of the changes. Addressing those as they happen is beneficial.
You must ensure you protect your interests when you’re ending a marriage. Working with someone familiar with complex divorces is beneficial because you draw on their knowledge of these matters. Try to explore your options early in the divorce process so you can set your strategy.