After being married for decades, it can be difficult to watch it end. It can be even more difficult for a New Jersey resident to realize that the person who used to protect, love and care for him or her is now gone. It will be up to the individual to take precautions during the divorce process to secure a stable financial future.

In many cases, it would be a mistake to assume that the other person will apply the same protection and care now that the marriage is ending. After spending years taking care of the children, the home and the family finances, many New Jersey residents who are getting a divorce after the age of 50 are having to substantiate that they made a contribution to the marriage. The individual needs to understand the marital finances and identify what assets and liabilities comprise the marital estate.

Thereafter, it would be useful to prepare a realistic budget before going into settlement negotiations. This will provide a baseline from which to begin the discussions, which will more than likely require each party to make some compromises. Only when the parties are on an even playing field with regard to knowledge can the parties end up with a fair and equitable settlement.

Once the negotiations are complete and the divorce settlement is drafted, there will more than likely be more work to be done. The settlement is a binding legal document, but that does not necessarily mean that the other party will follow through on the promises made therein. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have any documentation that needs to be signed and delivered in order to make the transfers agreed to in the settlement need to be handled as quickly as possible.

Source: Forbes, “How to Survive Divorce After 50“, Tania Brown, Sept. 29, 2016