Divorces occurring when the parties are approaching retirement or already retired require unique considerations. In such divorces, the primary focus is most commonly asset division and it is important to consider how each party can be secure in retirement following the divorce. Divorces where the parties are contemplating retirement or already retired often involve the division of substantial retirement accounts, investment portfolios, deferred income, retirement packages, pensions, and survivor benefits. Additionally, it is common that such divorces involve real estate with substantial equity. In longer marriages, it is also common that there is little or no pre-martial component of the assets to be divided meaning that there is even more at stake.
Dividing financial assets is a concern during any divorce, regardless of the age of the parties; however, the longer the marriage and the older the spouses, the more likely the division of retirement accounts and pensions will become a crucial piece of the divorce process. When contemplating the division of a 401k plan or an IRA account, it is important to consider factors such as life expectancy, age difference, and other sources of income. This process should be done thoughtfully and with care, especially when divorcing spouses are at the stage in their lives where they are shifting from saving and accumulating wealth to living off their savings and retirement benefits.
In divorces where the parties own one or more houses, it will have to be decided whether a house will be sold or if one of the parties will be permitted to keep a property. In cases where there is substantial equity in a piece of real property, if one party would like to keep the property it is important to consider whether he or she will be able to afford the upkeep of the property during and after the divorce. It is also important to determine whether he or she will be responsible for refinancing or taking a mortgage on the property to pay the other party his or her share of the equity or whether the equity will be offset when dividing other assets such as retirement or investment accounts. If a house is going to be sold as part of the divorce, it is important to consider issues such as deadlines for listing the house, how expenses related to maintaining and repairing the house will be divided until such time as the house sells, and how the house’s equity will be divided.
In marriages that have lasted at least ten years, a former spouse may be eligible for spousal Social Security benefits upon attaining a certain age. Additionally, if either party dies after a divorce, it is possible that his or her surviving former spouse may be entitled to Social Security survivor benefits should the surviving ex-spouse be at least sixty-two years old, unmarried, and the deceased party was entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Social Security benefits are often considered when determining the division of assets as well as determining the amount and duration of alimony, if applicable.
For marriages ending later in life, the parties’ children will often be approaching adulthood or already adults. The Court cannot order either party to pay for expenses such as health insurance premiums, college expenses, weddings, and/or student loans on behalf of adult children; however, such factors may come into play during settlement negotiations if either or both parties voluntarily agree to address such issues.
Divorce is difficult no matter the circumstances. Divorces where the couple has been together for decades, sometimes even for the majority of their lives, can be especially painful and life after such a divorce can be especially intimidating. It is important that a person going through a divorce later in life be able to rely on attorneys who are sympathetic to his or her situation and also have the experience to help assist him or her transition into a happy and secure life after the divorce.
Alpharetta Divorce Lawyers
At The Millard Law Firm, we understand that the divorce process can be complicated and confusing. We are here to be your aid and advocate for you. We offer immediate, individualized consultations and knowledgeable representation while preserving your rights and protecting your future.
Contact us today at (678) 319-9500 for a consultation.