Although Delaware is an equitable distribution state, getting divorced later in life can still have a significant impact on your finances. This is partially because you have less time to recoup the funds that were ceded to your spouse in the final settlement. It may be even harder to reestablish yourself financially after a marriage ends if you’re unable to work because of health issues.
Retirement accounts are typically seen as joint assets
A retirement account is generally considered to be a joint asset even if your name was the only one on it. Therefore, you could lose a portion of your retirement savings simply because your marriage came to an end. If an IRA, 401(k) or similar account isn’t split properly, you could owe income taxes on the amount that is withdrawn from it.
You may be required to make spousal support payments
If you were the primary breadwinner during the marriage, you may be ordered to make spousal maintenance payments as part of a divorce settlement. Generally speaking, these payments are based on your age, the length of the marriage and the ability of your former partner to find steady employment. It should be noted that alimony payments are no longer deductible for income tax purposes.
Legal fees can add up quickly
You can expect to pay at least $10,000 in legal fees if your divorce goes to trial. Furthermore, it may be necessary to take time off of work to make a court date, meet with your attorney or take other actions related to your case.