August 7, 2014

She's Over 50 and Divorcing, What About Her Retirement?

Florida - Women Over 50 and Divorce

Understanding retirement accounts, how they work, and how and when they pay you, as most divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach acknowledge, is a complicated endeavor. Then add the factors of being over 50 and divorcing and it can be paralyzing. For women, divorce after 50 can mean a challenging road financially. Statistics show that women tend to take a larger financial hit than men during a divorce.

Traditionally, women have been the center of the home and many did not work until it was necessary. When it was imperative due to finances, a spouse’s death or divorce, they were not experienced and finding work was nearly impossible. Even when they acquired work, many found it difficult to attain the income that men had at the same stage in life, reducing their ability to accrue funds for retiring. Even with the shift to more working and winning all levels of jobs, women still struggle for equal salaries. All this combines to make the post-divorce financial picture look bleak for women.

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Jeff Landers, a contributing writer for, reminds us, “It’s only natural for you and your husband to plan for retirement together. Contributions to 401K are made via deductions from salary, pension plan benefits are a function of years on the job and salary earned, and it makes perfect sense that you start ‘counting on’ that money for when you and your husband reach your Golden Years.” (source) If you know the two of you won’t be sharing those Golden Years, it is time to consult a qualified attorney.

In regards to retirement, your team of divorce professionals can help you understand the difference between marital and separate property, what your state laws require and how it all applies to your retirement. In its simplest form, marital property is anything that either or both of you acquire during the marriage after the wedding. It all belongs to both spouses and must be divided in a divorce according to the law. Separate property is anything that belonged to one of the partners before the marriage and is generally not subject to division.

In order to have peace of mind for your retirement while going through a divorce, make sure your attorney will “clearly spell out how the assets are split and how those funds will be transferred.” (source)

Once you understand that, you are well on your way to making plans for the future.


Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. If you are 50 years old or older and are involved in or contemplating a divorce, the immediately contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312 to schedule a consultation.


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