If you are thinking of getting divorced after you turn 50, you really have to think about your financial future. You cannot afford to make any mistakes. It’s important to get it right the first time around, and you must explore all of your options.

The problem, experts point out, is time. If you make a mistake during the divorce and do not prepare adequately for your retirement, you may not have time to make a correction. You may not be able to fix it before retirement.

For decades, you and your spouse have been planning for retirement together. You have been thinking about finances together. Every decision you made was for the two of you as a couple.

When that changes, will you be ready, or will you see all of your careful retirement plans fall apart?

For instance, maybe your spouse has been earning a pension since you got married. It’s significant, and you knew it could probably support your lifestyle. You have put away money for retirement, but not much. Why not use your income now for homes, cars and vacations? With that pension coming, you didn’t have to worry.

After a divorce, do you lose the pension? Do you have a right to some of that money? Is the rest of your retirement planning going to help at all?

These are critical questions to ask. You may very well have a right to a portion of your ex’s pension, and you cannot afford a mistake that leaves that behind during the property division process. You must know what legal steps to take to plan for your future.