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Managing divorce has unique challenges during retirement

There is no doubt that couples who decide to divorce in Montana will be faced with difficult challenges as they embark on the process to rebuild their lives as independent individuals. Depending on how long a couple has been married, the types of assets they share and the reason their relationship is ending, their path to moving on could vary significantly. For couples who are nearing retirement or who have already retired, divorce can wreak havoc on their financial future and should be carefully navigated to prevent costly mistakes. 

When couples have shared a significant period of their life together and are now facing separation, it will take time to unravel everything they have shared and designate who will keep what. If a couple has had children together who are now in adulthood, they will benefit from communicating regularly with their children and maintaining those relationships. They should also make active efforts to focus on how their future will be better and on what can be done currently to find joy and realize the benefits of the changes that are happening in their life. 

In regards to financial stability, couples should try to amicably decide the fate of shared retirement accounts and benefits. They should negotiate a settlement for who will maintain or keep the home they were sharing and who will get which household goods and personal belongings. It would be wise for them to contact the Social Security Administration to assess whether or not their payments will change because of their divorce. Both parties should be prepared to pay alimony which is often awarded to one spouse after a long marriage where one spouse was primarily a homemaker. 

If people are working toward divorce in their retirement years, they should contact an attorney to optimize their resources and reduce the impact of their divorce on their financial wealth. An experienced legal professional can help to provide direction as people manage divorce and retirement. 

Source: U.S. News, "Navigating Divorce in Retirement," Tom Sightings, Sept. 30, 2019

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Cunningham Law Office is a family law-focused firm in Missoula, Montana. We serve Missoula, Ravalli County, and the surrounding area.