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Divorce can change plans for retirement

Divorce is an event that can impact every area of a person's life. It can be taxing in terms of mental energy, emotional turmoil and financial expenditures. For couples in Wisconsin who are considering divorce, one area to think about is the impact that divorce will have on retirement plans. It could make it difficult to retire until later than planned, raise custody issues in cases where kids are involved and complicate Social Security payments.

People who have made consistent contributions to their retirement accounts throughout their working lives generally count on those funds to be there when they need them. When a married couple divorces, though, any retirement or pension accounts are generally seen to be joint property of the couple. These accounts must be divided between the parties to the divorce, and such a division can set a person back with regard to savings and retirement goals. Additionally, living expenses are likely to increase following a divorce, so there's less money to put toward retirement savings.

There may also be custody issues that can impact retirement plans following a divorce. For a person who had planned to buy a house in another state and retire there, for example, he or she might be restricted after a divorce because moving out of state can impact custody arrangements. With regard to Social Security, minor children might be eligible to collect on a person's account until they reach majority. These payments should be considered in divorce planning.

In a case where a Wisconsin couple is approaching divorce, a lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases may help the client identify and categorize assets or negotiate property division terms with the other spouse. A lawyer might help the couple divide retirement accounts or draft and file a petition to initiate divorce proceedings.

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