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Financial Issues When Older Couples Divorce

When a New Jersey couple decides to divorce, they will have to deal with splitting up their assets, which is a process that can be contentious regardless of the age of the spouses. However, for older couples, especially those nearing retirement, property division can have an even bigger financial impact, since there is less time for the parties to earn income on their own to fund their retirement.

Between 1990 and 2013, the number of divorces involving couples who were the age of 50 doubled. This is a cause for concern, as research done by a Bowling Green State University professor indicates that older divorced individuals frequently end up in poverty.

The researcher’s studies indicate that 30 percent of women who are 62 or older and divorced live in poverty, while for men in that age group, the number is 14 percent. To contrast this, only 4 percent of couples who are married at that age are living at or below the poverty line. This indicates that asset division and retirement issues are major stumbling blocks for older individuals who divorce. Part of the issue is that retirement accounts may not be liquid, so splitting up assets may not involve a clean break. Further, there is the issue of determining if the total amount of funds in the account will be split or just the portion attributable to contributions that were made during the marriage.

Going through the divorce process at any age can have significant financial implications for those involved. Along with the issue of determining how property will be divided, people may also be ordered to pay child support or alimony. A family law attorney can explain the procedures and issues involved to a client who is facing the end of a marriage.