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Divorce, retirement and division of assets

When you're getting divorced, it's common to think about your immediate needs. This can drive your decisions when doing things like dividing assets.

However, it can also be dangerous, putting you in a tough spot down the road. Some experts stress that it's important to think about the future. For example, you may want to consider retirement.

One woman failed to do this, and the results were disastrous. She had three kids and she did not work, choosing instead to stay at home and raise the kids -- a full-time job in its own right. This was affordable because her husband had a good job, making six figures.

The couple had saved for retirement. Even though their kids were still young, they had already put away six figures in the man's retirement accounts.

When they got divorced, the husband opted to keep the vast majority of those retirement funds. The exchange was in allowing his wife to keep their family home.

That made sense for the woman in the short term, giving her a place to live and a place to raise the kids. However, the job she got didn't pay nearly as much as his did. When the bills were too much, she had to sell the home. That meant she had almost nothing left, while her ex-husband still had almost all of his retirement money and could easily afford a new place to live on his salary.

The woman kept trying to save for retirement, but she managed to put away only $5,000.

While every case is different, this shows just how drastically a divorce can change your life and why it's important to think over the future ramifications of all legal decisions you make.

Source: Slate, "Think Divorce Is Miserable?," Helaine Olen, accessed Jan. 30, 2018

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