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If you are considering a “gray divorce” in California, you will need to be prepared. For context, a “gray divorce” is a marital split after the age of 50 when a couple is beginning to plan for retirement. Since many of the decisions that you make will impact the rest of your life financially, you must take the time to think cogently and strategically.

How to prepare for a gray divorce

The key to a gray divorce is in the preparation. You cannot enter the divorce negotiations without knowing exactly what is in the marital estate and how much it is worth. This way, you are in the best position to negotiate. You must also have a sound understanding of your post-divorce financial needs to know where you may have room to compromise. There is no escaping the fact that divorce at this point in life will affect your retirement. The question is how much it will set back your plans.

Know how your decisions affect your bottom line

When you have an understanding of your assets and your retirements plans, you should run various scenarios and see how they will affect your bottom line. This should factor in both what it costs to live now and what you will need in your retirement. Any decision that you make now will have a direct effect on your present and future financial situations. Of course, once the divorce is final, you will need to take the necessary steps to change things such as beneficiaries and estate plans.

It is best to have a strategy before jumping into settlement negotiations, and a divorce attorney may help you devise a plan to help you through the process. Your attorney might have dealt with this scenario many times before and may be able to provide you with a blueprint for how to get divorced without jeopardizing your financial future.