Will a divorce cut into your retirement savings?

Our family law firm understands that a client may require assistance not only before and during a divorce, but also after. For example, changed career circumstances may necessitate a post-judgment modification of a divorce decree regarding alimony payments. An uncooperative former spouse may need to be officially prodded by the court via a motion to enforce a judgment.

Our lawyers also have experience helping clients view the bigger picture of what their lives may be like after a divorce. In many cases, it may be necessary to reexamine retirement and/or estate plans.

A recent article profiled an elementary school teacher who underwent a divorce in her late forties. She made adjustments to her work and savings strategies, but retirement planning may not have been fully considered. Now that a decade has passed, the inevitable discussion about liquidity in retirement has come due.

The teacher approached her divorce with a smart strategy. She had been a stay-at-home mom but returned to work before the divorce filing. She also went back to school and obtained a master’s in education after the divorce was finalized. That career planning enabled her support herself and to remain in the family’s five-bedroom home, even though her children were grown and had moved out.

Since her divorce over ten years ago, the teacher has been supporting herself and contributing to her retirement accounts. At age 60, she must now consider a number of retirement questions, such as when she might retire from her full-time position, whether she will supplement her retirement funds with part-time work, and whether any new retirement strategies should be implemented in her remaining full-time work years. We will explore these issues in more depth in our next post.

Source: Washington Post, “She revamped her retirement plan after a divorce. Is she on track?” Jonnelle Marte, June 9, 2016