Property division outcome may negatively impact retirement plans

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Getting divorced in Virginia can be complicated and intimidating at any age. However, people who are nearing retirement, in particular, have a lot to lose if the outcome of their divorce proceeding is not in their favor. This is because people in their 50s and 60s typically have accumulated wealth throughout their lives. Losing a significant chunk of it in property division negotiations can be financially unsettling and throw a curveball in their long-term retirement plans.

A person who was banking on having a solid shared retirement with a spouse may have to revise his or her vacation ideas after getting divorced. That may mean downsizing a home or not taking as many vacations. The number of people getting divorced past the age of 49 is two times greater than what it was in 1990, according to research, so a growing number of people are facing this quandary.

It is expected that these so-called “gray divorces” will continue to rise; in fact, by 2030, about 800,000 of these kinds of divorce are expected to occur each year. Getting divorced in one’s later years can cause depression as well as sabotage one’s retirement goals because assets may be trimmed in half, while living expenses simultaneously rise for the divorced single person. This is why it is imperative that those facing divorce proceedings

Many spouses over 50 may end up battling over defined-contribution retirement plans or pensions during divorces in Virginia. Getting the most advantageous settlement possible may seem daunting. However, understanding divorce laws related to property division and asset distribution can boost one’s chances of minimizing the financial blow that divorce can deal.

Source: The New York Times, "Retirement Plans Thrown Into Disarray by a Divorce", Constance Gustke, June 27, 2014

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