You and your spouse may have started saving for retirement decades ago. You probably share a retirement account or at least planned based on both of your incomes and a shared residence during retirement.
Now that you find yourself considering divorce, you may worry about what will happen to your retirement plans. Dependent spouses, such as those who left their job to raise children or who work part-time to run the household, may not have their own retirement assets to rely on after a divorce.
How can you potentially support yourself during retirement after a divorce in New Jersey?
You can claim Social Security retirement benefits
Even if you have only worked part-time, you may have accrued some Social Security benefits throughout your working life. The good news is that you can potentially make a claim against your spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits or ask for some of the difference between what they will receive and what you will receive, all without diminishing what they receive.
You can ask for your share of retirement savings and pensions
It doesn’t matter that your ex’s name is the only name on the retirement savings account or pension you had planned to share with them after retirement. What matters is when they earned the money that they deposited into the account.
Your income during the marriage is marital property, so retirement savings accrued during that time will also be marital property that both of you can claim in the divorce. Even if you never directly contributed to the account, you may have a claim to some of its value in your New Jersey divorce proceedings.
You can request alimony or spousal support
If you have sacrificed your career development and personal financial security to support the family or raise children, your spouse may have an obligation to you after your divorce. The New Jersey family courts can order alimony or spousal support to hope you support yourself after your divorce.
Those in a long-term marriage and past the age of retirement may potentially qualify for permanent alimony throughout the retirements, especially if their spouse will receive regular pension payments during that time. Your financial circumstances and contributions to the marriage will influence what the courts have you as an appropriate amount of support after the divorce.
Learning more about the rules for spousal support and property division in New Jersey divorces can help you plan to support yourself after the end of your marriage.