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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

How retirement accounts may be affected by divorce

Divorce at a later stage in life can often invite serious financial issues. In many cases, one of the estranged spouses might have to pay thousands of dollars in spousal support and alimony. An older couple who have been married for a long time may have to let go of a substantial portion of their retirement assets and benefits because of the divorce.

Protecting a person's retirement benefits is important to many residents of Springfield who are going through a divorce, irrespective of their age. In many households today, both spouses are employed and contribute financially to the household funds. Sharing the financial load can be beneficial to everyone in the long run. However, after the divorce it can be stressful for one spouse to be in a position of having to carry the entire financial burden again. Financial problems might also be compounded in cases where alimony is involved.

Many legal and financial advisors suggest that a divorcing couple plan their budget carefully during the divorce process. The budget should incorporate the various issues that may arise, including rent on the residence, tuition for children, legal fees and various other expenses that are related to the divorce.

Social Security benefits received by either ex-spouse also need to be factored in when the divorcing spouse is planning a financial future, as well as a retirement plan. Retiring closer to 70 years of age may help some people to protect their retirement benefits and assets. When an older couple divorces, both parties need to plan carefully.

Source: Huffington Post, "Resetting your retirement after divorce," Jason Alderman, April 24, 2015

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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