When you divorce later in life, you need to consider additional factors that may not affect other couples. Finances can be particularly complex when you have invested significant years building a retirement portfolio. To protect your future, it is essential to be prepared.
At West Family Law Group, we understand how to identify potential challenges when couples divorce at age 50+, and we work to develop the right plan to position you for the best days ahead.
Retirement Assets and Executive Compensation
For many couples, retirement assets represent a significant portion of their marital property. Both spouses are entitled to an equitable share of these assets earned during marriage, even if they all stem from the employment of only one spouse. Appropriately valuing assets in retirement plans often requires specific expertise, particularly where executive incentives are involved.
The legal team at West Family Law Group has significant experience managing complex assets in divorce, including retirement investments, stock futures, and pension plans. We efficiently manage the process of obtaining any necessary qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs,) actuarial analyses, and other tools while we work to ensure that you receive the right share of retirement assets without incurring unnecessary tax liability.
Changes in Financial Plans
Many couples who kept their savings plan on track for retirement still struggle when they face the prospect of setting up two separate households. It is important to prepare for the added expenses, and it may be necessary to alter or delay retirement plans.
In addition to household expenses, couples divorcing at an older age need to ensure they have proper plans for health care. If both partners have been receiving primary or supplemental insurance through one spouse’s employer or former employer, they need to create a plan to pay for the other spouse’s insurance needs when that spouse becomes ineligible for coverage.
Spousal support or alimony also becomes more complicated for couples divorcing later in life. Many couples married for a long period of time settled into a pattern where one spouse focused more on career while the other set aside career goals to focus on home life. Each year that passed in this arrangement increased the potential income disparity between those two spouses.
One spouse is therefore likely to need financial assistance to maintain the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage. The court is often more likely to order alimony in this situation, and if the spouse with less income faces health issues, those support payments may be ordered to continue indefinitely.
However, when a spouse is relying on alimony to meet living expenses, their position will become a bit more precarious each year as the spouse paying support ages. The spouse receiving support may want to ask the court to order the paying spouse to obtain an insurance policy to cover alimony income.
Details Matter When Divorcing Over 50
Issues that may be of little significance in the average divorce can take on great importance for couples divorcing later in life. No detail is ever small.
West Family Law Group takes the time to consider all the factors that can affect your life during and after the divorce, and we create plans to ensure your needs are covered. Whether we resolve the issues through cordial negotiation or need to fight to win your objectives in court, our team knows how to secure your best future. Let’s discuss your options.