To many people, the idea of a divorcing couple brings to mind those who are in their 20s or 30s, but the reality of divorce is that it can happen at any age. In fact, research indicates that since 1990, divorce rates among people over the age of 50 have doubled . Some older individuals may even find themselves in an unfortunate situation where they are both considering retirement and working through divorce negotiations. As California is a community property state, divorcing couples typically split marital property equally.
However, financial division can be complex, especially when pensions and retirement benefits are part of the equation. According to financial planning professionals, there are ways for older individuals to safeguard their financial security in the event they divorce. They should objectively assess their financial status and consider what expenses may need to be scaled down once they are living on a single income.
Health care must also be seriously considered at this time as well. Those who have not yet reached the age of 65, which is the minimum age for Medicare eligibility, and who will no longer be on an ex-spouse’s insurance plan may find the high cost of an individual health care plan to be financially cumbersome.
Regarding retirement benefits, if the marriage lasted longer than a decade, an ex-spouse can still claim Social Security under their former spouse’s record as long as he or she is 62 or older and unmarried. In some cases, divorced individuals may be eligible to claim their own retirement benefits as well as their ex-spouse’s. This can make a significant financial impact on a retired individual who is struggling to make ends meet. A family law attorney may be able to assist older individuals with retirement claims and other financial matters during a divorce.