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Retirement considerations in a Virginia divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2019 | Divorce |

People in Virginia and across the country often spend a great deal of time planning for their future retirement. These plans are often made on the assumption that a married couple will remain in their relationship. The reality is, however, that many couples will choose to seek a divorce. In fact, the Pew Research Center claims that the rate of divorce for those aged 50 and over have doubled over the last three decades, potentially creating concerns about how the end of a marriage will impact retirement.

While the family home’s connection to retirement issues may not be immediately apparent, for many couples, the home is one of the largest assets. When a couple chooses to end their marriage, one person may choose to keep the home, buying out the other. To do so, the person retaining the home may have to take out a mortgage, creating a complicated financial situation. Fortunately, there are options that could help, potentially including a reverse mortgage.

Other concerns may include Social Security benefits and retirement accounts. However, the lower-earning spouse is still entitled to benefits based on the work history of his or her former house if certain conditions are met; to meet these requirements, the person must remain unmarried and have been married for 10 years or more. Additionally, retirement accounts can also be divided. This process typically requires a qualified domestic relations order, but the exact process may vary, according to the type of account. 

Many of these processes and options may seem daunting for people going through a divorce in Virginia. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who can inform people of their options and the potential outcomes of each. Though financial considerations will also be a concern for those seeking to end their marriage, no one should have to stay in an unhappy situation because of them.

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