Law Office of Jacqueline McNuttLaw Office of Jacqueline McNutt

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Divorce and retirement -- are you ready?

From who gets the house to how debt should be split, people often feel like they must make dozens of tiny financial decisions when ending their marriage. In many ways this can be an emotionally exhaustive period, but it is important to stay on top of this process through the very end of a divorce. Otherwise, Texas divorcees could risk their financial security for retirement.

Although divorce is usually the most appropriate course of action for couples who are no longer happy in their marriages, there are potential financial pitfalls. This is especially true when it comes to retirement. Decades of retirement savings can be knocked off course, leaving some unsure whether they will be able to retire at the age they had originally planned to do so. The Center for Retirement Research recently noted that 57 percent of divorced households will not be financially prepared for divorce compared to 50 percent of households that have never experienced a divorce.

Couples saving for retirement typically do so with the expectation that they will both benefit from the savings. Cleaving that amount in half will not necessarily keep them on track for retirement, as it is costlier to support two households than a single home. Other costs -- such as alimony, child support and marital debt -- can complicate the matter further by preventing individuals from putting away extra money for retirement.

Money concerns should not prevent Texas couples from seeking divorce. Many of the most common financial problems -- including inadequate retirement savings -- can be addressed during property division. Those who hope to reach a better financial future after divorce are usually well advised to collect relevant documents early on in the process, which can help them have a better understanding of their current situation and how to best handle costly assets.

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