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Tips for your finances after divorce

For the most part, divorce rates in Colorado and the U.S. have dropped in recent years. The exception is the "gray divorce," which is a group that consists of people over 50. In the last 20 years, that specific group of people has seen their divorce rate double. According to media reports, about 10 percent of all married couples won't stay together five years and 25 percent of all married couples won't see their tenth anniversary.

While you may find that your marriage falls into one of these categories, it likely won't make the transition to single life any easier. In many cases, the most significant change will be in your finances. Going from two incomes to one can be difficult. This is true to people of any age. Many now-ex-spouses fail recognize the toll a divorce can take on their financial situation until it's facing them full in the face. Here are a couple of tips to help you make sound financial decisions as you enter this era of your life.

If you're not familiar with all of the ins and outs of financial planning, consider signing up for a class. Many community colleges and even high schools offer such classes at affordable prices or at no cost. Many are taught by financial advisors or attorneys. You'll find these classes to be a wealth of information on every from taxes, savings, and the stock market.

Make sure you update your beneficiaries for your retirement plans and your life insurance. If you don't and you pass away, your ex may receive the proceeds from these policies.

Change your will and ensure that you consider the implications of your divorce on what would happen to your children if you passed away. If you were to pass away without a will, your estate could end up in probate, an expensive and time-consuming court experience.

When it comes to your employment, you'll need to file new tax forms. Consult with an experienced attorney to determine what the best route is to take concerning your taxes.

There are upsides to a divorce, but getting bombarded with financial changes is usually not one of them. Many of the factors that will directly affect your financial well-being will be determined in your divorce decree, such as alimony and child support. Having the right lawyer protect your interests during a divorce is vital.

Source:  Huffington Post, "Financial Tips That Ease the Sting of Divorce" Julian Block, Dec. 25, 2013

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