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How can divorce affect retirement plans?

Divorce can pose a real challenge for retirees.

Retirement is normally seen as a person's golden years – when they get to kick back and relax after a life of hard work.

However, the transition to retirement can also be a stressful one, with people moving into a new pace of life and adjusting to having a lot more free time.

These pressures may be leading to cracks in the relationships of older Australians. Although the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has found that the most common age for divorce is in a person's early 40s, there is a growing number of retirees who are splitting.

In fact, the median age at divorce has been steadily creeping up in Australia. In 1992, the median age for men to get divorced was slightly over 38, whereas women were at 36. In 2012, the ABS's statistics found this number has reached over 44 for men and 41 for women.

Often, those who have reached retirement will also have a set number of assets that they expect to see them through this stage of their life. Cars and homes are some of the things that might be a problem when people get divorced, with these needing to be divided fairly between the two parties.

Changes in assets may also need to be reflected in your estate planning. Revising your will is essential for anyone going through a divorce, but is especially important for older Australians. Divorce can also change the composition of your assets, with superannuation and other financial products likely to be affected by a marriage breaking up.

For retirees, there is also no chance to catch up on lost superannuation, in the event that this is split between the two partners. With superannuation representing a key pillar of funding your retirement, it is important to consider this when it comes to a divorce.

To navigate the process of getting a divorce as a retiree, it is important to talk to a family lawyer in Brisbane. They will be able to give you the right support to navigate this process and can ensure that you get this process right.