How Divorce Can Jeopardize Retirement

Spouses 50 and older often have similar questions when contemplating divorce: How will our retirement accounts be divided? Am I entitled to receive any of my wife’s/husband’s pension plan / 401(k)? Am I entitled to alimony? Will I have to pay my wife/husband alimony for the rest of my life? When will I be able to retire?

For married couples divorcing late in life, one of the main concerns relates to what will happen to their retirement plans. In the recent Bloomberg Businessweek article, Older Americans Are Jeopardizing Their Retirement With Divorce, Allman Spry partner and family law specialist Joslin Davis is quoted discussing the financial and retirement concerns shared by many people facing late-life divorce.

Retirement Concerns During Divorce.

Citing a recent survey of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the Bloomberg article notes that around “62 percent of divorcing couples among those 50 or older fight about retirement savings in the process of reaching a [property] settlement.” According to the article, many of these individuals “are forced to put off retirement until they regain their financial footing or because they have alimony obligations.” In the article, Ms. Davis was quoted as saying that she often grapples with “how to create an alimony stream of income for a dependent spouse, at least for a period of time, while also making sure the providing spouse gets to stop working and retire at some point.”

Joslin DavisJoslin Davis is President of the AAML and is a North Carolina Family Law Specialist with extensive trial, mediation, and arbitration experience in complex family law cases involving equitable distribution (property division), alimony, and premarital agreements.  Ms. Davis is a Diplomat of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, and has been listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” publication for over 20 consecutive years.

If you are interested in speaking with a North Carolina family law attorney in Winston-Salem about how your retirement account(s) (IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.) or pension plan(s) (defined benefit plan and/or defined contribution plan) may be affected by divorce, contact Allman Spry to learn more.