In our last post, we discussed the growing number of older couples in Georgia that are getting divorced. Because most baby boomers will have spent decades together before they decide to divorce, they often have more complex financial assets than younger couples who file for divorce.

The last post discussed two financial mistakes for those older couples to avoid, including ignoring retirement funds and undervaluing alimony payments. Today we’ll look at two more mistakes to avoid:

Don’t miscalculate the value of Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits are often undervalued in divorce negotiations. A former spouse may be eligible to claim benefits from their ex as long as they remain unmarried. However, your spouse can also claim your Social Security benefits and will likely do so if you made more money than he or she did during the marriage. Make sure to determine the benefit amounts when determining alimony and other payments.

Don’t forget about the kids. Establish protections that ensure your children receive assets instead of the future spouse of your ex. Lifetime asset protection trusts will guarantee that the estate is passed on to the children. Trusts can also help ensure the assets will also be protected from your child’s spouse in the event that he or she goes through a divorce.

The longer a couple is together, the more complex their assets and financial situations become. Taking the time to carefully analyze every element of your finances can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the financial protection you need.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Divorce Over 50: 3 Mistakes to Avoid,” Catey Hill, 23 March