Law Offices Of Sheara F. Friend

Call us for a consultation
978-464-1071
To our clients and colleagues:
We want to assure you that our firm remains open and fully operational during this time, while implementing safety measures related to COVID19. Our attorneys and staff are working remotely with full access to the tools necessary to continue working and serving our clients, and we are monitoring the evolving changes put into effect by the courts. We remain fully accessible by telephone and email and have added video conferencing capability.
The health and safety of our staff, attorneys, clients, and the community at large are of the utmost importance to us. We are closely watching all updates from the CDC, the WHO, the White House, and Massachusetts government and health agencies to ensure we are taking every measure to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID19. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will provide updates on any steps we need to take in response to emerging circumstances.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns, and please take all precautions to keep yourselves healthy.

Divorcing over age 50 may require dividing retirement assets

Divorcing over age 50 may require dividing retirement assets

Home » divorce » Divorcing over age 50 may require dividing retirement assets

Older couples in Massachusetts who are considering divorce might feel they are in step with the rest of the nation. Overall, the U.S. divorce rate since the 1990’s has just about doubled for individuals aged 50 and older, as reported by Pew Research.

Divorce may affect a 50+ couple’s plans for retirement, especially if one spouse relied upon a working spouse for the majority of his or her income. A spouse has the legal right to request alimony payments or financial support, and a lump-sum retirement fund payout may help an ex-spouse to move forward in a new life.

Dividing marital property in Massachusetts

Both individuals have a legal right to claim assets and property acquired during a couple’s marriage. Under the Bay State’s divorce laws, the courts generally split marital property by fairness. Spouses may negotiate between themselves how to divide their property or they may rely on what a judge considers fair. The law recognizes inheritances and gifts, however, as a spouse’s individual property and not subject to division.

Requesting proceeds from a spouse’s retirement plan

Because the law classifies a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or a pension fund as a couple’s marital property, each spouse has a legal right to its proceeds. A nonworking spouse may request a payout of either a percentage of the assets or a lump sum from the plan, as reported by Kiplinger magazine. The payout must fall under the plan’s guidelines and will also require a qualified domestic relations order. If a working spouse acquired the account before the marriage, however, the value accumulated during that time is his or her own separate property.