Although Virginia is not a community property state, the court will still divide the marital assets in a divorce as it sees fit. Most divorces settle before they are litigated in court, so the two spouses will end up making their own settlement decisions in dividing the marital estate. When the spouses are over the age of 50, they must consider their financial future in making decisions about the divorce.
In fact, finances are likely to be the main issue since any children are likely to be grown at this point. The common pool of retirement assets that the couple has will now need to support two people in retirement. In addition, spouses may need to make lifestyle changes depending on the effects of a divorce. While the goal is to continue with life on the same financial course, it is inevitable that divorce will have an impact.
The best thing that a spouse can do is to prepare for the gray divorce ahead of time. This means that they are fully aware of all of the assets in the marital estate that both they and their spouse own and their valuation. Then, they would have a game plan before the settlement negotiations begin as to what they feel they need and the matters on which they can compromise. They simply cannot make rash decisions during this process.
One of the first steps in planning for a divorce is look into options with a family law attorney. The lawyer could both educate their client and help them with a strategy for the divorce agreement. The attorney would be familiar with how courts would generally divide property in a divorce, and they could use that to counsel their client’s strategy.