Hansen Law, PLLC

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Divorce after 50 can have high asset implications

In Washington and across the country, people age 50 and over are often part of a rising trend. Those in this age group are filing for divorce at a rate much higher than their younger counterparts. When high assets are at stake, a spouse must be careful to protect his or her financial interests.

Older people who have been married 10, 20, 30 years or more might be worried about retirement benefits, investments and other financial issues if they decide to divorce. Such worry is not unfounded, as financial advisers and many family law attorneys often say that things can get quite messy in a late-life divorce. The good news is that a spouse need not go it alone in court; he or she can ask an experienced litigator to act on his or her behalf. 

Even a most carefully crafted retirement plan might have to be restructured when an older couple decides to part ways. The author of a book targeted toward baby boomers who get divorced says that filing a petition to end a marriage is one of the top threats toward financial independence. In fact, many older people wind up not being able to make ends meet when they divorce after a 20 or 30-year marriage. 

One way to protect high assets in a late-life divorce is to be well-versed in one's own financial portfolio. A person must first know where his or her money is in order to protect it. This state is a community property state, meaning marital assets are typically split 50/50 between spouses. A Washington family law attorney can provide guidance and support before, during and after property division proceedings.

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