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Will you have to change your retirement plans after divorce?

You've probably already given some thought to what your retirement years will look like, even if you aren't near that point in your life. Regardless of what you hope to do in your golden years, you know that a divorce could affect your plans. When a marriage is over, the two parties will have to divide marital property, including certain types of retirement and long-term savings accounts. 

While you'll have to make some adjustments, your divorce doesn't have to devastate your plans for retirement. There are things that you can do to pursue a strong future. As you get ready to move forward with this process, you will find it beneficial to start preparing for the property division process and learning how you can fight for a final divorce order that allows you to look ahead with confidence.

Steps to take now

You know that the time to start planning for retirement is not right before you are ready to retire. It takes years of planning, saving and investing to build a nest egg that will allow you to step back from your job one day. So during your divorce, you would be wise to think about what will be best long term, not just in the immediate future.

In many cases, retirement savings and some types of pension accounts are marital property and therefore eligible for division in a divorce. This could mean that you could see a reduction in your retirement savings by as much as 50%. This is not time to panic, however, but you need to approach the property division process reasonably and with a strong future in mind. Some things that you can do include:

  • Remember that negotiation can be a useful tool. This method allows both parties to address their individual needs and work together on a mutually beneficial final agreement.
  • It's inevitable that your divorce will affect your retirement in some capacity. It's smart to go ahead and make adjustments to your plans. This helps you have a clear picture of what you need for your post-divorce future.
  • It may be possible to secure Social Security benefits through your spouse's work history. You don't want to leave money on the table that may be available to you.

Divorce is a process full of complex choices and agreements that could affect the rest of your life. It's in your interests to work with an experienced Utah legal advocate who can help you understand your options and make choices that are practical and sustainable for years to come.

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