Getting divorced after years of marriage is no longer unheard of. “Gray Divorce,” or divorce between couples over the age of 50, became increasingly common between 1990 and 2010.
One of our divorce workshop attendees recently asked about alimony and other financial considerations when getting a divorce after retirement age. “He has more saved for retirement than I do,” she said. And that’s a typical concern at this stage.
When a couple splits close to or after the age of retirement, the separation can be a sizeable financial burden as the partners shift from a shared income to a single income. When divorcing later in life, women often face a more significant financial impact. In some marriages, the wife might have been a stay-at-home mother or may have made less than her husband during her career and therefore have less saved for retirement.
In most divorce proceedings, retirement money is considered marital property. After a long-term marriage, retirement assets are often evenly split. If one spouse has more saved for this time in life than another, it may be used to provide a financial cushion for the spouse at a disadvantage.
Even though a couple might be older, this does not negate the possibility of alimony. Senior couples terminating long-term marriages more often receive alimony, and it is sometimes granted for life. The amount and duration can vary. Some spouses opt for giving more of their pension in lieu of alimony payments, but legal experts say this may not be in your best interest.
If you will be in need of some form of financial support, it is best to look into your options before solely banking on alimony. While this is a viable option, there is also negotiable retirement assets, Social Security, IRAs and 401(k)s. Each one of these is accompanied by certain stipulations, so be sure to conduct the necessary research to decide what financial route to take.
If you are considering or experiencing a gray divorce, visit one of our monthly workshops for more guidance, tips, and information. You should also consult a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst to work through your retirement plan after divorce.
Want to talk to someone about your specific situation? Schedule a consultation with one of our divorce professionals today!