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What are the challenges of a ‘gray’ divorce?

What are the challenges of a ‘gray’ divorce?

| Dec 24, 2020 | Divorce

While the overall divorce rate in the United States has declined over the past three decades, the trend is actually increasing for couples over the age of 50.

So-called “gray” divorces have doubled since the 1990s, which coincides with baby boomers starting to turn 50. Divorcing later in life can be incredibly challenging for couples who, in many cases, have spent decades together.

Five financial considerations

Divorce is emotionally difficult for anyone, but especially those who have spent years sharing their lives, raising children and possibly grandchildren. But it also leads to financial concerns, especially if one spouse has been the primary wage earner. The main income issues to consider are:

  • Dividing retirement benefits: Pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs are considered marital assets in Minnesota. Generally, only the amount earned during the time of the marriage is divided.
  • Social Security: Nonearning spouses over the age of 62 are entitled to receive a percentage of their former spouse’s benefits earned during the marriage.
  • Marital assets: Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, meaning all property acquired during the marriage is “equitably” divided, which is typically determined by a court and may not be a 50/50 split.
  • Health insurance: Most nonearning spouses are covered under their partner’s health insurance. For those too young to qualify for Medicare, this can be a considerable expense.
  • Life insurance: Once a divorce is finalized, the spouse who owns a life insurance policy can remove the other party as a beneficiary, in most cases, adding to future concerns over financial security.

Focus on a brighter future

While divorce can be stressful for everyone, it’s often a necessary and positive step leading to a better life. These issues can be complicated. That’s why it is essential to work with an experienced family law attorney who will advocate for your best interests.

A knowledgeable attorney understands how to divide complicated assets, so you receive your fair share. Your lawyer will diligently work to find an agreement either by negotiating, utilizing collaborative divorce, or by fighting aggressively in court to secure the best possible outcome.