While getting a divorce is rarely a simple process at any time, when a couple is divorcing at or near retirement, separating is even more complex. By this stage of life, many couples have joint accounts, retirement funds, and other holdings that are difficult to separate, plus factors such as health concerns can play a role in a divorce settlement. If you’re looking into a divorce at 60, you want to make sure you have an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney in Raleigh who can help you navigate the process.
The team at the Doyle Law Group has helped hundreds of clients separate successfully and move into their new future with security and confidence. We will provide you with the experienced advice and counsel you need to understand your rights and entitlements under North Carolina law. Should your case go to court, our team will prepare representation that will help you to achieve the best possible outcome.
How Divorce at 60 Affects Property Division
Getting a divorce later in life means that you most likely have a more complicated estate to separate. While North Carolina law requires equitable distribution, this doesn’t mean 50-50 division, it means that the division must be fair. This makes separating things like a house difficult because for people over 60, their home may be:
- Completely paid off, which means equity if one party downsizes
- Eligible for a reverse mortgage which can provide a stream of income
- Potential rental income
- A source of property tax exemptions
However, a divorce attorney from The Doyle Law Group can ensure you receive your equal share, and will act on your behalf to ensure factors such as health, earning power, and non-marital assets are taken into affect where applicable. We can also assist you with valuation and appraisals to ensure that you receive the proper amount or share.
Financial and Retirement Accounts
For people who divorce at 60, their primary concern may be their retirement accounts. After all, many people retire at or around 65, and they want to make sure they can retire with security.
Pensions and 401(k) Accounts
For retirement funds that come from employment, there’s a common misconception that those belong to the person who earned them. However, pensions and 401(k) accounts are considered marital property and are subject to Equitable Distribution. Additionally, you may be eligible for continued survivor benefits if your spouse dies, even after the divorce.
Additional accounts to consider include:
- Savings Accounts
- IRAs or Roth IRAs
- Investment portfolios
How Divorce at 60 Affects Insurance
While most couples separate their life insurance and health insurance after a divorce, getting a divorce at 60 is a bit different. For example, if both parties are covered under an employer-provided plan, it’s important to see if you can receive COBRA coverage or how to gain individual coverage, especially if not old enough to receive Medicare.
Divorce and Social Security
While the court does not divide social security benefits, your divorce can affect what you do (or don’t) receive. If your marriage lasted over 10 years and you’re 62 or older, you can collect retirement benefits on your ex-spouse’s social security record, without that affecting their benefits. This is especially important for people who were out of the workforce for long periods of time while married.
Additionally, information regarding social security:
- You may be eligible to receive benefits of up to 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefit.
- You can draw retirement benefits at age 62 on either your own Social Security record or on your former spouse’s record, then you can switch to the other benefit when you reach full retirement age (if the other benefit is higher).
- After your divorce is final for at least two years, you can receive benefits through your ex-partner even if he or she is eligible but not receiving benefits.
- You may be able to receive survivor benefits of 100% of your former spouse’s Social Security benefit after your ex dies.
Contact Our Raleigh Divorce Law Firm if You Need a Divorce at 60
Getting a divorce when you're over 60 may seem impossible, but the right divorce lawyer can help you step into your new future with confidence. To discuss your options and learn more about the steps involved in a complicated divorce settlement, call (919) 301-8843 or fill out the form below to get started!