How your retirement and social security are effected.
In many ways, there is nothing unusual about people getting a divorce after they turn 50. The same concerns and problems that affect younger couples are also at play for someone later in life. Financial pressures, infidelity, or simply realizing they are not in love are common causes for divorce with someone 50 just as they are when someone is 25. There are however some aspects of divorce that are different when people get divorced when they are 50 or later that younger people don’t have to deal with.
Assets are of course different for many people when they divorce later in life. Often, when a person is 30 and they get a divorce, a house is just a house, but for older people, there are more things to consider. If you’re 62 or older, do you have a reverse mortgage? If not, will you get one after the divorce, if you keep the house? The promise of income from a reverse mortgage often makes people more willing to fight to keep the house. What about the tax benefits for having a house? Different deductions for mortgage interest and taxes can be a benefit; for those who keep the house. A house also gives you equity if you need a loan, so many people getting a divorce want to keep the house for that reason too.
The division of retirement plans is especially challenging in a divorce later in life. There are many details an attorney will need to discuss to ensure that everything important is lined out. Some things to consider are when you will be able to receive payments from the retirement plan without being penalized at tax time. Sometimes, divorce does not impact whether or not a person qualifies for survivor benefits if one party dies. In some cases a person may even be entitled to contributions made to a retirement plan after the divorce. All of these details must be evaluated and worked out with your attorney.
Although social security benefits are not considered to be assets in a divorce, the facts are that if your spouse or soon to be ex-spouse receives benefits after a divorce. Even though those benefits are not considered assets, if you were married more than 10 years and you’re 62 years old or older, you or your ex-spouse can collect some of those benefits. For a spouse who has stayed at home during the marriage and therefore did not pay into social security, or has paid in less to social security, this money is important.
If you get a divorce and your ex-spouse passes away, you can receive 100% of their benefits if you were married more than 10 years, if you are at least 60. These are the same basic survivor benefits for a couple who remained married.
No matter how old or how young a couple is, divorce can be complicated both emotionally and financially. It is important to understand your rights, and to realize where you will be financially without your spouse. The guidance of a good attorney is an integral part of that process.
If you may be considering filing for divorce or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected].