What will happen to my retirement?
Divorce is a difficult emotional process at any age, but those who choose to divorce later in life face some specific issues that they should be aware of. In these cases, the children are often grown and out of the house, and the main points of contention involve the property division and money.
If you are getting a divorce after the age of 60, chances are you either are already living off of your retirement or you have quite a bit saved up. In the case where one person is clearly at fault for the divorce, such as situations involving infidelity, it may seem like the retirement would stay with the person who earned out. However, this is not necessarily the case. This is usually considered part of the marital property and would be subject to equal division between the two parties.
Alimony is also almost always a factor, particularly for couples who have been married a long time and one party was the main breadwinner. The exact amount of alimony you can expect to pay — or receive — depends on the specific circumstances of your divorce, but most of these situations end up with alimony being awarded, often for life or until the receiving party remarries.
While it is possible to negotiate some of these aspects, as well as the division of property, it’s important to do that under the advice of a family law attorney. For instance, some people may think that offering to give more of the retirement may mean they won’t have to pay alimony, but this can have negative tax implications. An attorney will be able to tell you about these possible pitfalls and help you make decisions in your best interests.
Source: U.S. News, “7 Things to Know About Divorcing During Your Senior Years,” Maryalene LaPonsie, April. 25, 2015