New Jersey divorce: Separation can disrupt retirement | Lane & Lane, LLC
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New Jersey divorce: Separation can disrupt retirement

Gray divorces have been in the news quite a bit these days. Research now shows one person out of four currently involved in a divorce is likely to be older than 50. These numbers are a significant increase from three decades ago, when the number of older Americans getting divorced was less than one out of 10. Divorce can be expensive, especially when couples cannot agree on a property settlement. For older New Jersey residents, it can impact their retirement savings, potentially placing them in danger of financial problems at the same time they should be able to begin enjoying life without work.

Social Security benefits may come into play during a divorce. If a couple has been married for over a decade and one is over the age of 62, it is possible to collect benefits from the other spouse's Social Security under certain circumstances. Doing so won't harm the benefits of the other spouse, even once the divorce is finalized. Using this benefit after a divorce can help minimize some of the financial impact a divorce can cause later in life.

Some older Americans may still be working at the time of their divorce. If this occurs, it may be time to take a critical look at one's finances and prepare for the financial consequences that may result. Once a divorce occurs, only one income is typically available, making it important to readjust finances and continue to plan for the future. This could mean an adjustment to one's budget or working with someone experienced in financial matters to ensure enough money is available once retirement arrives.

A New Jersey divorce is rarely easy, but those confronting it may take comfort in knowing that help is available to address outstanding issues and plan for the future. Those couples that are able to cooperate with one another to work toward a settlement that is fair to both may find the process is easier than they thought it would be. Alternative dispute resolution options such as mediation or a collaborative divorce may offer the best approach to achieving a comprehensive agreement that takes into account present and future financial needs.

Source: Huffington Post, "Going Through A Gray Divorce? Focus On Your Retirement Savings," Suzanna de Baca, Jan. 9, 2013

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