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A young California couple that decides to divorce before they have children and significant assets may experience a very different divorce process from a couple that divorces with kids, a home and shared investments. Further, a couple that has been married for a significant period of time may go through an even more distinct divorce process when they choose to end their marriage.

For example, couples that divorce in their thirties and forties or so may find that their divorces are primarily centered on maintaining balanced lives for their kids. However, older couples whose children have moved out of the house often discover that money and assets are the subjects over which concern is focused. Alimony, the division of retirement accounts and investments and the separation of business interests are all financial matters older couples often must settle during their divorces.

While an individual may believe that it is fair that if she earns a retirement account from her job that she should be able to leave her marriage with that account intact, that is not always the case. In some situations a judge may look at the individual’s partner’s contributions to the marriage to determine if the retirement account should be divided. Courts generally do not leave individuals destitute after divorces and therefore if one partner to a long-term marriage did not earn an income, that individual may receive a sizable settlement and alimony from his or her spouse.

A later-in-life divorce can change the way that an individual may look at her retirement years. Dividing property, investments and retirement accounts can all require parties to reevaluate the way that they will be able to provide for themselves as they reach more advanced ages. To learn more about how a divorce could change one’s savings and retirement plans, please refer to a legal professional who provides guidance on divorce-related property matters.

Source: Fox Business, “Can You Lose Your 401k in a Divorce?” Casey Dowd, Aug. 11, 2016