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Major financial considerations in a later-in-life divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2023 | Divorce

If you’re thinking about getting a divorce later in life, then you have considerable financial issues to consider. Community property division under California law can quickly deplete the assets that you’ve worked for decades to accumulate. And given your position in life, you may not have enough time to replenish those assets.

Therefore, as you prepare to head into your divorce, you need to be strategic about addressing your financial concerns. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the key issues that you’ll need to address and how to position yourself for a successful outcome pertaining to them.

Spousal support

If you’ve been married for a significant period, then you may want to consider seeking spousal support, especially if you sacrificed your own career at some point in the marriage to raise your family or to support your spouse in some fashion.

To make a stronger argument for spousal support, you’ll want to present evidence that speaks to a number of factors, including each of the following:

  • The length of your marriage
  • Your marital standard of living
  • Your earnings capacity and overall ability to be self-sufficient
  • Your spouse’s income
  • The sacrifices that you made during your marriage

If you’re on the other side of the fence and want to minimize or avoid paying alimony, then you’ll want to think about how you can show that your spouse is self-sufficient. You might be able to turn to the property division process as a negotiation tactic, too, providing your spouse with a greater portion of the marital estate in exchange for foregoing alimony.

Retirement accounts

Remember, you’re not going to have a lot of time to rebuild your assets once you divorce. That means that your retirement accounts are going to carry an even greater significance than you thought.

Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you have a full understanding of each of your retirement accounts, which ones will provide you with the greatest sense of stability moving forward, and how you can strategically divide them with your spouse in a way that protects your long-term interests.


An inheritance can be a major point of contention in your divorce, especially if that inheritance was significant. Here, depending on your position, you’ll want to argue that the inheritance is either part of the marital estate, likely because it was commingled with marital assets, or that it remained separate property and thus outside the boundaries of the property division that’s required by law.

Make sure you understand the facts of your case so that you can argue accordingly.

Social Security benefits

Although you may not be able to negotiate and litigate access to your spouse’s Social Security benefits, you need to fully understand them and how they may come into play in your divorce. That way, you know how you need to tailor your approach to property division issues so that your financial interests are protected.

Take a holistic approach to your divorce

There are numerous issues that you’ll have to confront as you navigate a divorce. If you want to protect yourself as fully as possible, then you’ll have to know how to argue for the outcome that’s best for you.