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Division of retirement benefits during a late-life divorce

For many Texas military spouses, the end of a marriage is an intimidating prospect. This can be especially true for spouses who have been married for a long time, and who are at or nearing retirement age. A late-life divorce brings an even greater need for careful financial decisions, including the division of retirement benefits.

Older spouses will need to adjust their spending following the end of their marriage. Many expenses that were once shared will now need to be covered on one's own. This includes obvious costs such as housing and grocery expenses, but also covers other needs. In many cases, spouses save money by sharing cell phone plans, insurance coverage and other expenses. These items often cost significantly more when obtained under separate accounts.

It can take some time to adjust to a post-divorce budget, especially for individuals who are also thinking about retirement. There will be missteps along the way and unexpected costs that fall outside of even the most carefully constructed budget. Having a strong financial foundation in place is essential to moving through this period with less stress.   

For many military spouses in Texas, the best way to create a solid financial footing is by means of a favorable division of retirement benefits. Having this security in place gives individuals the time and space needed to settle into post-divorce spending. The end of a marriage marks the beginning of a new phase of life, and making solid legal decisions throughout one's divorce can pave the way toward a happier future.

Source: Bloomberg, "The Mid-Life Divorce Boom: How to Avoid Financial Carnage", Ben Steverman, Nov. 10, 2014

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