When couples in North Carolina divorce, the former spouses typically assume that they’ll bounce back and make new lives for themselves. While this is usually true for younger people, as people age, it can be more difficult to recover financially after divorce. When older couples end their marriages, it is important for each spouse to ensure their financial security throughout old age.
There are several things that older people can do to protect their assets and ensure a fair property division during a divorce. Some are simply common sense steps that all couples, regardless of age, should take. These include ensuring that all assets and debts are accounted for, paying off joint debt and removing one’s name off of financial accounts that are currently jointly held.
One concern is the issue of spousal support payments. Judges may order alimony to be paid over the long term to an older spouse who has been out of the workforce for a long time. While this can help that newly divorced spouse maintain his or her standard of living, it’s important to be aware that the spouse who was paying the alimony may not live that long. There are ways of handling this, including requiring the spouse who pays alimony to take out a life insurance policy or to purchase divorce disability insurance.
Individuals who are considering divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client circumstances and make recommendations that are appropriate to the client’s age, financial situation and expectation of being able to earn money in the future. Receiving such expert advice may make the difference between being able to retire in a timely fashion after divorce, or being forced to either continue working or to accept a much lower standard of living.