The divorce rate is rising for older couples. This is important because getting a divorce close to retirement may raise certain financial issues. However, there are several things that older spouses in Texas can do to protect themselves financially.
For starters, divorcing spouses should create a list of assets before meeting with an attorney. This list should include any inheritances and whether the funds have been mingled with marital assets in any way. Couples might also want to make a list of all employers for both spouses. This can help in researching whether there are any pensions, stock options or similar assets that they have forgotten about.
If one person is going to pay alimony to the other, they should discuss how a potential issue such as disability or job loss will affect those payments. Life insurance policies that cover this should be reviewed carefully. A soon-to-be ex might ask for a lump sum instead of monthly payments to avoid this uncertainty. If a marriage lasts more than 10 years, the lower-earning ex might be able to collect on the Social Security benefits of a higher-earning spouse. In addition, it's important to update beneficiaries on all accounts and change titles to remove the spouse who is no longer the property owner.
In a community property state like Texas, most debts and assets acquired after the marriage will be considered marital property. While those assets should be divided equally, this does not necessarily mean the couple must divide everything 50/50. The couple may be able to negotiate a solution that works for both of them. For example, one spouse could keep the home while the other keeps a bank account. Attorneys could help a couple through the negotiation process.