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Women who divorce later in life worry about finances

Divorce is always an emotional and stressful experience, especially for couples who have been together for a long while and decide to end their marriage later in life.

Whether you and your spouse are wealthy or have modest means, your financial future is a prime consideration. These four tips will help you approach this matter with greater confidence.

1. Consider liquid versus illiquid assets

Many women facing divorce want to keep the marital home. If you are among them, keep in mind that there will be mortgage payments, property taxes and upkeep that may cut into your carefully planned budget. Real property is an illiquid asset, and you may do better with liquid assets such as a 401(k).

2. Think about tax implications

Your attorney can help you understand the tax implications that accompany certain assets. For instance, if you and your spouse are going to split brokerage accounts, there will be capital gains to consider.

3. Prepare to consider lifestyle choices

You may need to adjust your lifestyle after the divorce is final and make do with less. You may have to learn budgeting skills if your spouse handled the financial part of your marriage. If you gave up a career years ago to raise your children, you may also have to consider returning to the workforce to create a reliable income stream.

4. Explore an economical alternative

A tradition divorce proceeding in court can be lengthy and very expensive. You may want to consider mediation as an alternative to litigation. It is a much shorter, less stressful and much less expensive process than a divorce in court. If you believe that you and your soon-to-be-ex can work together to create an agreement satisfactory to you both, you may find that mediation is a sound, economical first step toward your financial future.

Becoming single

You are entering a new chapter in your life. Becoming single again may be a daunting prospect, but there are advantages, the first being that you are now in control of your own destiny. An advocate who understands the concerns you have about your financial future can offer welcome compassion and guidance at an emotional and stressful time in your life.

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