Every divorce brings unique complications to the lives of the people involved, but divorces later in life tend to have consequences people don't anticipate. The closer you are to retirement age, the more likely a divorce is going to create financial strain.
Chances are also very good that you will need to revisit your estate plan and your last will, as well as your living will to adjust for your change in marital status. What are some of the most important considerations for those considering a gray divorce in New Hampshire?
Do you have to split your retirement fund with your ex?
If the account is in your name, you might expect that you get to hold onto those assets yourself. Whether your retirement money comes from a pension or employee-sponsored 401k account, you will very likely need to share at least part of it with your spouse when you divorce.
Many factors, including the length of your marriage and the income potential for both you and your spouse, impact the way that the courts handle major assets. At least for the amount that you have accrued during the length of your marriage, it is likely that you will have to split your retirement assets with your ex.
Will you have to pay alimony after the divorce?
If you were the primary wage-earner in your family and all of the major accounts, like the pension, are in your name, you may find yourself worried about the potential obligation to pay alimony, also known as spousal support.
The longer you were married and the more time your spouse spent outside of the workforce to raise children or care for the familial home, the greater the potential for a spousal support order. In some cases, the courts could even use spousal support as a means of fairly dividing a pension, by ordering you to pay support when your pension begins.
Can you stay in your home after the divorce?
For many couples in New Hampshire, their retirement accounts and home are the most substantial assets that they acquire. You may have intended to spend your retirement years in your family's home, but that may not be an option if you get divorced. It can be difficult to predict how the courts will handle the marital home, so you may want to sit down to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney.
Your attorney can shed light on how the courts will likely view the unique circumstances of your marriage and what options you will have for splitting or potentially retaining your marital home and other major assets, like your retirement account. For those considering a gray divorce, minimizing the cost is often a key strategy to a happier future.