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Jennifer McCaskill
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Alimony might not be the best focus in late life divorce

As they near the end of a lengthy marriage, many New Jersey residents focus on negotiating spousal support. While alimony may be an important part of addressing financial needs after a divorce, older spouses may want to think about other options when it comes to working out the financial details. That's because alimony is only a viable option while the paying spouse is still alive, while certain other assets could continue to bring in income regardless of the lifespan of one's soon-to-be ex. 

In many cases, assets like retirement savings, real estate and investments could have more value than alimony payments. Accepting a greater share of those assets at the time of divorce provides a more certain outcome. The recipient can determine how best to use those assets to meet his or her needs. 

Talking a long-term approach is important during divorce. Some spouses make the mistake of focusing only on the short-term benefit of a substantial alimony payment, and fail to consider what might occur if the paying spouse passes away just a few years after the divorce. Purchasing a life insurance policy for the paying spouse with the recipient as the beneficiary offers a degree of support, but also requires constant monitoring to make sure the insurance payments are kept up. 

Many New Jersey spouses want the freedom to walk away from a marriage that has ended with as little lingering connection with the other party as possible. Accepting a larger share of assets in lieu of alimony payments is a good way to facilitate that outcome. The recipient will have the ability to put those assets to use, whether that means funding a new retirement account, purchasing long term care insurance or downsizing to a more manageable home. 

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