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Tips for divorce at 50 and older

Some Arizona couples who are 50 or older may be among those whose divorce rates are increasing according to the Pew Research Center. The divorce rate for this age group is more than twice as high as it was in 1990, and Pew researchers believe this may be because there are more second or third marriages in this age range. They are more vulnerable to divorce than first marriages.

People of any age who are going through a divorce need to make a budget that will give them a sense of what their finances will look like afterwards. They should also be aware that alimony is no longer tax-deductible or treated as income for the recipient. There are other concerns that are more specific to people nearing retirement. For example, they might want to recalculate their retirement plan. The division of a retirement plan is an issue that often arises, and according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, after alimony, it causes the most conflict.

There are several other issues to consider. These include the potential eligibility to draw Social Security benefits on a ex-spouse's earnings record, revising estate plans and ensuring that health insurance is maintained. For some people, delaying retirement by even just a few months may be beneficial.

Arizona is a community property state. This means that all marital assets are supposed to be divided equally. However, it is possible for couples to negotiate an agreement that do not involve splitting every asset in half. For example, they might each take assets that have similar values. One advantage of this approach is that splitting some types of assets, including dividing a 401(k) or selling a home, can be expensive and time-consuming and may sometimes have tax implications.

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