Manhattan Divorce Lawyer Discusses How Divorce for Seniors Creates Financial Risks

Manhattan Divorce Lawyer Discusses How Divorce for Seniors Creates Financial Risks

Manhattan Divorce LawyerManhattan Divorce Lawyer Sabra Sasson shares her perspective on issues to consider with senior divorce rates on the rise. 

There was a time when divorce among seniors was considered unusual, however, it is now becoming much more common according to an article published by U.S. News & World Report. Divorces between people age 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2009 (according to research conducted by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research Center). 

The concerns and issues for divorcees in the 50 and older category are often different from those who are younger because they usually are empty-nesters and therefore do not have any of the child support or child custody issues to resolve.  However, the often have more significant accumulated assets, they have concerns about retirement, disability, Medicaid among other concerns.

How Divorce for Seniors Creates Financial Risks

Most people have a plan for retirement. And, if one made a plan anticipating they would still be together, then the plan doesn’t take into account the cost of separation, divorce and maintaining two households. An unplanned divorce can create many financial issues for seniors.  If one spouse brings the majority of the money in, the other will most likely qualify for half of her or his retirement savings.  

Some Other Issues That May Arise For Seniors Facing a Divorce Are: 

  • Division of a house that has been owned for many years and substantially appreciated in value
  • The income tax impact of retirement assets
  • The difficulty of having the same standard of living as during the marriage
  • Dividing investment assets so that each party has a diversified portfolio
  • Stress of divorce may cause health issues and/or depression

Seniors going through divorce will also need new legal documents such as wills, trusts, health care directives, pension plans, IRAs, and insurance policies to reflect their new marital status. 

Checklist for Divorce:

If divorce is imminent, or even a possibility, it is a good idea to gather any and all financial documents in advance of separating. Here is a brief list to get you started:

  1. Maintain copies of all jointly filed tax returns;
  2. Obtain copies of all financial records, including, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, mortgage statements, credit card statements
  3. Open separate bank accounts upon separating
  4. Make copies of other important documents such as Last Will and Testament (being careful not to unstaple it), trusts, life insurance policies, disability policies, homeowner’s insurance policy, medical insurance cards
  5. Seek professional help to make sure your rights and finances are protected

Talk to an Experienced Manhattan Divorce Lawyer

If you are a senior, or facing divorce at any age, it is important to talk to an experienced Manhattan divorce lawyer that can guide you during this difficult time.  If you live in the Manhattan area or surrounding suburbs, contact Sabra Sasson today for a free Divorce Exploration Session at (646) 472-7971. 

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