Special considerations for older adults who are divorcing

Divorce among older adults is on the rise. Getting divorced in Arizona when you are in your 50s or older will have some different implications than a divorce when you are younger, so it’s important to have financial and legal professionals help you through the process.

Financial issues

When you divorce after a long marriage, your financial situation may be more complicated than if you had only been married for a few years. If one person did not work outside the home, that person may struggle more to find work when they are older. One spouse might be more likely to be required to pay alimony or to pay it for longer.

Retirement

Retirement is often a concern when older adults get a divorce. You may have to rethink something that you planned for a long time and move ahead with the knowledge that the money you saved will not stretch as far across two households. Dividing retirement accounts can also be a complex process. For 401(k)s, pension plans and some other types of accounts, you will need a document called a qualified domestic relations order. You will also need to follow certain steps when you divide an IRA to avoid taxes and penalties. Another consideration is revising your estate plan to account for your recent life changes.

Your children

Although your children may be adults, they will probably still be affected by the divorce. Some of the same issues can arise, such as children feeling that they must choose between their parents.

If you are an older adult and you are considering divorce, you’ll want to consult an attorney to discuss how it might affect your finances, including retirement. You will have less time in the workforce to make up for losses, or you might already be retired, so it is important to take steps that will ensure your financial stability.