Since 1993, the rate of divorce for people in New Jersey and throughout the United States who are over 50 has doubled, and trends show that it continues to rise. For people who are considering a divorce later in life, the financial aspects of the end of the marriage can be particularly complex, especially as couples who have been married for many years may have accumulated a significant number of assets, investments and insurances.
For many people seeking a divorce over the age of 50, these assets can be substantial and property division can require all of the attentiveness to detail of any high asset divorce. To prepare for the settlement and negotiation process, a divorcing spouse can create a full list of all of the couple's assets, both those that are individually and jointly owned. Gathering records of past employment can be another relevant factor; pension plans, stock options and other benefits associated with previous employment can be relevant in the divorce.
Social Security is another factor to keep in mind during a divorce. If a former couple has been married for 10 years or more, an ex-spouse can collect Social Security benefits based on those of their former spouse. This is true even if their former spouse has remarried or collects benefits themselves. Spousal support is another issue that can carry extra considerations in late-in-life divorce; it may be important to garner life insurance to cover alimony benefits in case of death. In other cases, a lump-sum support settlement may be preferable to traditional monthly payments.
When a lifetime of assets are eligible for division, divorce can be a particularly challenging topic. Throughout this process, a family law attorney can provide representation and counsel to help to ensure a complete accounting of assets and a fair settlement that respects contributions to the marriage over the years.