Can Divorce Later in Life Affect Retirement?

When a divorce occurs later in life, it can dramatically impact your retirement plans.

When making plans for retirement, you are likely to consider the benefits of being able to indulge in your favorite hobbies or pursuits, to travel more frequently, and to spend more time visiting family members and friends. In these scenarios, your spouse is likely to be by your side. Unfortunately, after being married for decades, it may come as a surprise when marital problems begin cropping up as you reach retirement age. A divorce can have a dramatic impact on any plans you may have had in place.

The Impact Of Divorce and Retirement

You work hard all your life at your job or supporting your spouse in his or her career, and you are looking forward to when you can finally retire. The last thing most couples expect is for marital issues to ruin these plans. Unfortunately, divorce has become increasingly common among older couples. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of people over the age of 50 who are seeking divorces has doubled since the 1990s.

While a divorce later in life can offer new opportunities, it can negatively impact your retirement plans. In addition to dramatic changes in income and expenses, you may have relied on your spouse’s pension plan, joint retirement benefits, and health insurance. A divorce puts all of these in jeopardy.

Retirement Benefits in Your Divorce

If you are an older adult and experiencing marital difficulties or there has been talk of filing for divorce, it is important to speak with our experienced Gwinnett County divorce attorneys immediately. There are actions you can take to protect yourself, and your manner of living, during your retirement years. Under the Georgia Code, there are certain matters that must be attended to before a divorce can be finalized, which can impact you during retirement. These include:

Division of marital property: Any property or assets earned or acquired during your marriage must be divided in an equitable manner between you and your spouse. This includes items such as your home and other types of real estate or personal property, as well as financial accounts. You may be entitled to a portion of your spouse’s retirement benefits, which can help provide for your needs in later years.

Alimony: If you sacrificed your own career or education in favor of supporting your spouse during your marriage, you may be entitled to alimony, or spousal support. This can help you maintain the standard of living you enjoyed during your marriage. It can also offset the cost of maintaining your own health insurance benefits.

In addition, if you were married for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to a portion of your spouse’s Social Security benefits after your divorce.

Our Gwinnett County Divorce Attorneys are Here to Help

At Zimmerman & Associates, we know that a divorce can be particularly challenging when it occurs in your later years. To discuss your options, contact our Gwinnett County divorce attorneys and request a confidential consultation today.