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Divorcing Baby Boomers often have concerns about retirement

Retirement benefits are treated differently from other forms of property

Decades ago, Baby Boomers pioneered the increasing social acceptance of divorce among younger couples. Nowadays, according to Bloomberg, that pioneering spirit is continuing among the same generation now preparing for retirement. Gray divorce rates - divorces involving older couples in long-term marriages - among Baby Boomers have soared in recent years to the point that a quarter of all divorces now involve somebody 50 or older. While many Baby Boomers are facing the prospect of a divorce, it is important to understand that divorcing later in life comes with many financial risks that could complicate a retirement plan.

Why are Baby Boomers divorcing?

Baby Boomers are hardly new to divorce as they are the same generation that first made divorce socially acceptable during the 70s and 80s. However, researchers caution that the growing gray divorce rate is not entirely due to people on their second or third marriages calling it quits. Perhaps surprisingly, about half of all gray divorces involve a first marriage rather than a typically less stable second or third marriage.

The main reason behind the gray divorce upswing is that people are living longer lives. While retirement in the past may have only accounted for 10 to 15 years of a person's life, it may now last for twice that time. As a result, many Baby Boomers are opting for divorce rather than spend decades of their retirement in an unhappy marriage. Additionally, many Baby Boomers have likely delayed their divorce until the children move out of the house, thus leading to an uptick in divorce for people in their 50s.

Retirement plans in the air

For many couples in Texas a central question in their divorce will be deciding who gets the pension and other retirement benefits. Retirement assets are treated somewhat differently from other types of marital property. While a pension, regardless of whose name it is in, is considered community property and can thus be divided between both spouses, there are important rules and procedures that must be followed.

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is often necessary in dividing a pension and avoiding expensive transfer fees, according to USA Today. Also, a spouse's right to a share of the pension is complicated by a number of additional factors, such as who the provider of the pension is. Likewise, just because a pension can be divided between both spouses does not necessarily mean that it will be divided equally, but rather "fairly," which is a term open to considerable interpretation during a divorce.

Legal help

When divorce happens close to retirement a family law attorney should always be consulted. Representing oneself during a divorce is risky, especially when a person's entire retirement funds could be at stake. An experienced attorney can ensure that one's best interests are represented and fought for during a divorce.

Clients say : "She was always realistic and positive about the case; the end result was very close to what was anticipated. Lori Watson truly cared about my case and its equitable resolution. Communication with her was effortless and personable, her responses timely and pertinent. I would confidently recommend the services of Lori Watson to not only my closest friends, but family members included."

Clients say : " I first approached Lori Watson to handle my divorce two years ago. In the initial consultation I was put at ease by her objectivity and insightful nature and knew I would be well represented. Early on she assessed what was becoming a dangerous situation and placed well thought out procedures in place that were intended to protect but at the same time not provoke unwanted actions."

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Clients say : " I hired Ms. Watson to help me get through probably one of the most difficult times of my life, my divorce and custody battle for my children. Throughout the long-drawn out battle, Lori was very professional, empathetic to my situation, but more importantly was always there by my side." read more >>

Clients say : " Lori handled my complicated divorce with an estranged wife and children with psychological issues. Lori quickly grasped what the main issue would be in a long term contested divorce and formulated a strategy to address it." read more >>

Clients say : " Many have encountered stereotypical lawyers that tend to give attorneys a negative image. Lori Watson does not fit that stereotype and takes a fresh approach to practicing family law. As one who is in need of a family lawyer knows, it is usually a very difficult time in life with many stressors and heightened emotions. My situation was especially trying and lasted nearly a year." read more >>

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Law Office of Lori Watson
804 S Main St
Georgetown, TX 78626

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