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Gray Divorce: 4 Things To Consider When Divorcing Over the Age of 50

Gray Divorce: 4 Things To Consider When Divorcing Over the Age of 50
Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C.

Going through a divorce is never easy, especially when you’re going through a “gray divorce”—that is, a divorce over the age of 50. Couples who divorce later in life often face several additional challenges simply because they’ve had more time to accumulate property, forge personal connections and, ultimately, build a life together. Divorce is, essentially, the process of unraveling that dually-constructed life in the simplest, fairest way possible. However, if you and your spouse are over the age of 50, you have big obstacles to contend with, including your retirement savings, your shared assets, investments, intellectual property, and other potentially serious concerns.

If you are going through a gray divorce, make sure you know what to do to protect your interests. Consider the following points before you begin your gray divorce process:

1. Fair (Just and Right) Property Division

When older couples decide to terminate their marriage, one of the biggest steps in that process deals with property division. Dividing marital property can be complicated and emotionally challenging, which is why it is best to be prepared and practical. Each spouse is entitled to retain their own property, such as gifts, heirlooms, or an inheritance, but most other assets and debts will be divisible. Because older couples have had more time to accumulate property, this process can be quite lengthy, especially if you share a high net-worth. Ultimately, your home, vehicles, retirement plans, investments, business properties, stock options, and other valuable possessions will all be subject to division.

2. Maintaining Your Standard of Living

If you have enjoyed a comfortable standard of living with your spouse, you may be concerned about maintaining that same lifestyle after your divorce. In most cases, spousal support, or alimony, can help compensate for financial need. However, it is a good idea to prepare a financial portfolio to prepare for the upcoming expense of your divorce, and any lifestyle changes that take place afterward. For example, you may need to rent or purchase a new home.

3. Preserving Retirement Security

At the age of 50, or older, you’ve probably put good thought towards your retirement plan, so you’re undoubtedly concerned about how your divorce could affect those investments. Simply put, your retirement will most likely be subject to property division, which means you’ll have to share it, in some way, with your spouse. To help protect your retirement, consider how your 401k, Social Security Benefits, or other factors might change after your divorce is finalized. Discuss your financial goals with your attorney and create a plan to help preserve your interests and protect your future.

4. “Special” Types of Property to Consider

If you own valuable collectibles, artwork, intellectual property, or other special properties, you must find out how those properties could be subject to division in your upcoming divorce. These types of properties can hold an especially high value, whether through monetary value or sentiment, which means they deserve special thought and attention. Think about how important these assets are and discuss a plan with your attorney so that you can prioritize and protect what’s most important to you.

Need Help With Your Gray Divorce? Contact Our Firm.

Whether you’re in the midst of a complex gray divorce or are contemplating pulling the trigger, our firm is prepared to provide you with steadfast, compassionate legal guidance. Our team can build a strategy on your behalf to help preserve your interests and protect your future, no matter how complex or problematic your situation may seem. Gray divorce can be challenging, but with our attorneys on your side, you can rest easy.

To get in touch with our attorneys, contact Hendershot, Cannon & Hisey, P.C. online or call (713) 909-7323 to schedule a consultation.