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A divorce in later life can affect retirement years

As New Yorkers live longer, they are finding themselves in marriages that last into their fourth, fifth, and even sixth decades. For some, the blessing of time is a great gift in which individuals may share more moments with the people they love. For others, it may be an instigator to make changes in order to lead a more fulfilling existence in their later years of life.

Later in life divorces are on the rise all across the country and, in fact, have been increasing in frequency since the 1990s. They make up about one out of every four divorces in the country today; readers may now be wondering why these divorces are any different than divorces among couples of younger years.

For starters, long-term marriages can have greater financial issues at stake than short-term marriages. Individuals who have spent decades together and planning for a retirement as a couple may have a very rude awakening when they seek to separate their retirement accounts, investments, and other financial affairs during the property division process of their divorces. Not only will their hard earned investments be cut in half as the partners to the divorce go their separate ways, but each partner to the dissolved marriage will have to find ways to pay for all of their needs.

For example, as a couple, partners may only have to pay one mortgage. However, after a divorce, those individuals must find places to live separate from each other; suddenly, they are responsible for the double expense of housing when, during their retirement planning, they may have only budgeted for one such expense.

Sorting out the financial affairs of a divorce is always complicated. However, later in life divorces present their own difficulties, especially when it comes to handling the retirement plans the parties to the divorce had made during their unions. Attorneys who work in the property division and family law fields can provide useful guidance to those individuals who are struggling to work through divorces from their partners.

Source: washingtonpost.com, "Divorcing late in life? Don't let it destroy your retirement," Martha M. Hamilton, Dec. 2, 2016

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