Although divorce rates have dropped for younger Americans since 1990, for the 50 and older set, more than twice as many couples divorced in 2014 than in 1990. Some attribute this to the fact that older Americans are healthier and remain vital and active much longer than they used to. People over 50 may now be deciding that they do not want to spend their golden years unhappy. Previously, older couples may have had to worry more about health issues and simply stuck it out together. A recent study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio confirms this trend among older Americans.
One problem unique to older individuals facing divorce is retirement security. Divorce may mean a significant decline in living standards, even if both partners worked their whole lives. It is much more expensive to live in separate households than in one home, and retirement savings you have accumulated as a couple over the years often have to be divided, leaving each spouse with less. As a result, many divorcing couples elect to put off retirement for longer. When devising an alimony plan, it can be difficult to reconcile how to provide for a dependent spouse while finding a way for the working spouse to retire at some point. Sadly, many individuals are in the dark about their spouse’s retirement savings.
According to a recent survey of members of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, a staggering 62 percent of divorcing couples age 50 or older fight about retirement savings in the divorce process. Over 80 percent fight over alimony, and 60 percent fight about business interests.
Although things are changing, among the 50 and over group women tend to suffer more financially in a divorce because they tend to earn less than their husbands. Nevertheless, women initiate 60 percent of so-called “gray divorces” (divorces after the age of 40), according to AARP. Women may be less tolerant of mediocre relationships, and today, they feel that they can reinvent themselves after 40 because they are still full of energy.
Individuals facing divorce may want to freeze shared and separate 401(k) and IRA accounts until an agreement is reached in the divorce. Insurance is also available to protect alimony payments in the event of a payee’s death.
Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Represent Older Americans Going Through a Divorce in New Jersey
If you have made the decision to leave your marriage, there are many obstacles, but it can pay off in terms of increased happiness and independence. The experienced Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. are ready to answer whatever questions you have about the impact of divorce on your financial future heading into retirement. We have successfully represented countless individuals over 50 seeking a divorce in New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online.
With offices in Somerset, New Jersey, we serve clients in Somerset County, Morris County, and Union County, including the towns of Somerville, Bridgewater, Somerset, Basking Ridge, Mendham, and Morristown, and throughout New Jersey.