When Texas couples who have been married for decades decide to divorce, they often face specific legal and financial challenges. Unlike couples who have only been married for a few years, spouses in long-term marriages often have highly entangled finances that are not easily divided. In addition, they are likely to either be retired or approaching retirement. This requires special financial planning.
The reasons why couples may choose to divorce after a long marriage vary. Empty nest syndrome sometimes shows couples that they simply don’t have much in common now that their children are gone. Whatever the reason, spouses need sound financial advice so that they are able to spend their remaining years in comfort.
In addition to reviewing all debts and assets, including retirement accounts and pensions, a couple may have to sell the family home. This may be painful, particularly if they’ve been in the home for many years, but in many cases it is simply not cost-effective to keep it after a divorce. Other considerations should include whether a spouse who currently does not work outside the home, or is employed part-time, will need to get a job.
People who have been married for at least 10 years will be able to collect Social Security on their former spouse’s earnings if that amount is higher than what they might have earned on their own. The ability to collect on and ex-spouse’s Social Security employment record will end with a subsequent marriage, unless that later marriage also comes to an end.
Individuals who are going facing the end of a marriage that has lasted a long time may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. Counsel could assist in negotiating a property division agreement that provides the client with a degree of financial security.