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Divorcing when close to retirement: How to protect your assets

There are many marriages that seemingly end before they even really get a chance to get started. These couples may still be in love, but they realize that they were just not meant to be together forever. While this can be a difficult time in their lives, they are able to move past their emotions and eventually start over.

When a person hears that one of their friends is getting divorced, it will usually come as a surprise if that marriage has lasted for 10 or more years. These couples have spent a lot of time building their lives together, and if they encounter problems, they have experience working these issues out.

However, sometimes the couple is simply not able to bring these disputes to a peaceful resolution. When one of these couples decides that the time is right for a divorce, it can lead to serious concerns, especially if they are close to retirement age.

In Pennsylvania, when a couple is going through a divorce, they need to divide their marital property equitably. Each side is entitled to a fair share of the couple’s assets and debts, which is not necessarily a 50-50 split. This includes the retirement accounts that one or both of the spouses may have.

The accounts will be examined to learn more about the contributions that were made during the marriage. Once this is determined, it will be necessary to discuss how to distribute these funds between the divorcing parties. Some spouses may have given up their careers to raise the children, which the court will consider when making its determinations.

After the amount of the division is determined, it will be necessary to figure out how to distribute the money in the accounts. Some couples may decide to make a one-time payment at the time of the divorce, while others will wait until the other spouse has retired before receiving his or her share. This will depend largely upon the couple’s financial situation and how close the parties may be to retirement.

Those individuals going through a divorce who are thinking of retirement need to understand the implications of these property divisions. If you have questions about your divorce, do not make any decisions before contacting an experiencing family law attorney.

The division of marital property will be one of the most important parts of any divorce for those couples rapidly approaching retirement age. It may not be possible to rebuild your assets after the divorce, so you need to be sure that the agreements that you are making at this time will not delay your ability to retire.

We offer a free half-hour initial consultation to explore your case and our abilities.

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