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Consider your retirement and your divorce

Marriage can be hard work. For many couples, by the time they approach their "golden years," they may have had enough. Their partner may have become inattentive, mean, unfaithful, or they may have simply aged out of their marriage. Thirty years can be a long time and who you are at 55 or 65 may be a long way from where you were at 25 or 35.

You may have developed different interests and you may not have much in common beyond a last name. But if you divorce in your 50s or 60s, you need to be especially careful with your property division. You no longer have a full working career to make-up for losses you may suffer during a divorce, so you need to maximize the benefit you receive from your division of marital property. You don't want to miss assets and leave money on the table.

For women, it may mean the need for alimony or spousal "maintenance," as it is known in New York. Depending on the length of the marriage and other factors, you may receive limited maintenance for a few years, while you find work or obtain training. In other cases, you might receive longer-term maintenance.

If you never worked, had limited education and stayed home and took care of the children you are more likely to receive a longer-term alimony than if you worked your entire life and had a successful career. If you earn more than your husband, you might even find yourself on the hook for paying alimony.

Should the court award alimony, you should demand that it be protected by life insurance or an annuity that will ensure that you actually receive the payments should your former husband suddenly die. There is no "do over" for property settlements, so you and your attorney should consider all of the likely scenarios when drafting your settlement.

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Phillip J. Jusino & Associates, P.c.

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Divorce: a Practical Guide

Divorce: A Practical Guide

Attorney Jusino’s new book on divorce is an easy read and full of valuable information. Learn More