Couples in Maricopa County who have been married for decades might be more likely to get a divorce than younger couples who have only been together for a few years. Divorce is on the rise for people who are 55 and older, and for people 65 and older, the divorce rate is more than two times higher than it was in 1990. These marriages may be ending in part because of a shift toward the idea that divorce is more acceptable, particularly as people are living longer lives.
However, it is important at this time that both individuals take steps to protect their finances. For example, calculating income for the purposes of alimony may be more complex as people advance in their careers because they may also acquire stock options, travel benefits, executive compensation packages and more that need to be included. For the purposes of property division, in a community property state like Arizona, most assets acquired after marriage are considered to be shared property that should be equally divided in a divorce.
One concern for older people who are divorcing is how it will affect their retirement. In addition to splitting retirement accounts, lower-earning individuals might be eligible to draw on a former spouse’s Social Security benefits after at least 10 years of marriage.
Older adults who are considering divorce may want to talk to a family law attorney about their financial situation. Individuals who have been out of the workforce for years may be worried about how to support themselves. They might be uninvolved in the marital finances and unsure about what assets they own as a couple. People who are the main earners in the household may be worried about support and other payments. Gathering as much financial documentation as possible to bring into the attorney may help answer these questions.