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Smart financial decisions in case of divorce

Pennsylvania couples who are getting married should consider how they will handle their finances. In many marriages, one person tends to be savvier about finances and handle the bills and budgeting. However, if both take responsibility for financial matters, it is better for the marriage and also leaves both spouses in a stronger position in case of divorce.

No one wants to plan for divorce when they are getting married, but taking steps such as funding retirement accounts equally can help ensure financial security down the road if the marriage does fail. If there is a large discrepancy in the couple's income, they may want to adjust the percentages each contributes to a retirement account so that each one has roughly the same amount saved. Depending on how each account performs over time and how income levels change, those percentages may need to be adjusted.

As the couple approaches retirement age, it is necessary to shift toward thinking about moving away from dependency on a regular income and toward the retirement account. If the couple is planning to divorce at this point after a long marriage, retirement accounts that have roughly the same amount in them may make property division go more smoothly.

Divorce shortly before or after retirement is not an unrealistic scenario as the rate of failed marriages in older adults is high. In some cases, the retirement accounts may be among the most valuable assets, but a couple that has been married for a long time may also have accumulated significant assets. These could range from real estate holdings to owning a business and more, and the process of untangling financially could be long and difficult. Whether people have many assets or only a few, they might want to discuss their finances with an attorney before moving ahead with a divorce.

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