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Financial issues may be complex for older divorcing couples

While the divorce rate for most age groups has stabilized in the past few years, the rate for the 50-plus crowd has increased. When it comes to financial issues, older couples have concerns that do not necessarily apply to those who have not been married as long.

The subject of money in the post-divorce world is of primary importance to older people. Their questions range from how to handle social security to how much alimony the court will require them to pay.

The challenges of growing older

When a marriage of 20 years’ duration or more comes to an end, one of the first thoughts each spouse has is whether the lifestyle to which they are accustomed can continue following divorce. One spouse may be nearing retirement age and looking forward to traveling. The other, a homemaker for many years, may want to reenter the workforce but, as a middle-aged individual, worries that it will be difficult to find a suitable job.

Of alimony and social security

When the payor retires, around the age of 67 for the sake of calculations, he will have the opportunity for alimony relief. Because the 2014 law in New Jersey has removed the possibility of permanent alimony, the payor can petition the court to modify or end payments. At this point, the payee will want a certain amount of money to live on, especially if she has not yet found a job, so she will have to become largely self-supporting. However, a divorced spouse is eligible to receive half of the ex-spouse’s social security benefit beginning at age 62 as long as the marriage lasted longer than 10 years and the recipient has not remarried when collection of the benefit begins.

Other financial considerations

In addition to alimony and social security questions, an older couple will likely need to know how to divide assets such as real property, investments and retirement accounts. An experienced family law attorney can provide the answers and help clear the way so that a divorcing spouse can look forward to a fulfilling, well-planned future.

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