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Divorce Litigation Bullets (Part 11): Retirement Assets and Senior Divorces

Retirement Assets and Senior Divorces If you follow this website regularly, you’ll know that Mr. Darren Shapiro frequently publishes blog posts and articles to help his clients understand the unique nuances of divorce and family law. Mr. Shapiro’s many years of experience in hiss field has given him countless resources to turn to when helping people come to terms with their current situation.

Although this website is packed full of content to help you learn more about different aspects of divorce law, much of the information might be a little overwhelming for some. That’s why Mr. Shapiro created these bullet-point guides instead, to offer some quick and easy sources of information. In this edition of the bullet point guide for Divorce litigation, we’re discussing retirement assets and senior divorce issues.

Senior Divorce Issues

Many older partners have the same issues and concerns as younger spouses going through a divorce. However, Mr. Shapiro frequently notices some additional challenges among senior partners too. For instance, parenting time and child custody concerns may have taken a back seat for older couples, while issues like pensions and retirement assets become more prevalent.

  • In the case of a senior divorce, financial issues are often crucial, because when partners are already retired, there’s not as much opportunity to create new income. Distributing retirement assets carefully is crucial with this in mind.
  • Many couples in a senior divorce also have concerns regarding how property can be divided between the parties. There’s a chance that selling the home may be an option, but it might not be possible for one party to leave the property with ease. If one spouse receives the family home, then the other will typically get something of equal value in negotiated agreements. This could include a greater share of the pension, or a reduced maintenance obligation.
  • Senior couples will need to think about their circumstances carefully when approaching divorce litigation. It’s helpful to get support from not just an experienced attorney like Mr. Darren Shapiro, but also other professionals, like accountants and financial advisors. These professionals could assist in making decisions about 401ks, retirement plans and pensions.
  • Though children play less of a role in senior divorces, couples may still need to consider how their children will factor into their future, and what kind of assets will be distributed among children in wills and estate plans which it is recommended be discussed with wills, trusts and estates attorneys.
Retirement Savings in Divorce

In a senior divorce, a major concern for a couple will be determine how retirement assets need to be split between both parties. IRAs and annuities are often crucial considerations, alongside personal belongings and property.

  • Retirement assets are extremely valuable to any person, but they can be particularly important depending on an individual’s ability to earn future income. This money is often subject to a range of complicated factors, including tax implications that sometimes make retirement savings harder to divide.
  • Mr. Darren Shapiro offers his clients the best advice he can offer when they’re making financial decisions, but he also encourages individuals to seek out additional guidance from the correct taxation and financial experts too. As a divorce attorney, Mr. Shapiro has a strong grasp on how the division of retirement assets works, so he can answer various questions about shared interest pensions, as well as post and pre-retirement death benefits.
  • The courts will make the final decision on how savings should be shared in a divorce litigation case for couples that are unable to settle their cases (most cases settle at some point; the question is where is that point). Equitable distribution law is applied to retirement assets, meaning that these savings won’t necessarily be shared 50/50. Instead, equitable distribution ensures that assets are distributed in a way that is deemed “fair”, but default thinking seems to be an equal distribution of “marital assets”.
  • In certain cases, couples may need to look into the division of defined benefit pension plans, which means using a Qualified Domestic Relations order. This is a decree under domestic relations law that relates to tax-deferred benefits.
  • Crucially, social security is not something that you can negotiate with an attorney in family law. Social security is handled using the federal law of social security, though social security income may be taken into account when determining things like who should be paying maintenance payments after a divorce. If you were married to your spouse for the requisite number of years and undergo a divorce, you may qualify for a benefit based on your former spouse’s career history too.
Understanding the Issues of Senior Divorce

When senior partners get divorced, there are many unique concerns that need to be addressed, ranging from the division of retirement plans, to the benefits that individuals may be able to apply for. You’ll still have all the concerns of divorce that most people have to think about too. If you have any concerns about the issues addressed in these guides, particularly if you think you might need a lawyer, feel free to contact us to schedule a free (up to thirty minutes free) initial consultation with Mr. Darren M. Shapiro at your earliest convenience.

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