Arizona seniors who are going through divorce are not alone. Divorce is increasingly common among people who are close to retirement age. Data shows that the divorce rate for couples over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990.
When a couple divorces right before they retire, there are usually a lot of assets to divide. People in this age group may be earning more income, and they may have built up a portfolio of investments and retirement accounts. If a divorcing spouse isn’t careful, they could enter their retirement years a lot less comfortable than they had planned to be. That’s why it’s important for a divorcing spouse to review their finances, take stock of the marital assets and determine what their expenses will be as a single person.
One of the financial issues that may be especially important to couples that are divorcing later in life is Social Security. If a divorcing spouse was not the main breadwinner during their marriage, they can choose to claim Social Security benefits from their ex-spouse’s earnings. However, a divorced person can only claim an ex-spouse’s benefits if their marriage lasted 10 years. For this reason, some older people may choose to delay filing for divorce until after their 10th wedding anniversary.
A family law attorney may be able to help a senior divorcee negotiate for a fair division of retirement assets. Depending on a divorcing spouse’s financial situation, an attorney may also help the client to petition for spousal support and other benefits.