As the population ages, there has been an increase in the number of divorces that occur after the age of 50, also known as gray divorces. Gray divorces carry with them a number of issues that are not associated with divorces between younger couples, especially when it comes to property division. While dividing a couple’s assets is a huge point of contention in most divorces, thanks to issues related to retirement, it can have a much larger impact on older divorcing couples.
Those over the age of 50 are usually thinking about retirement, and the way assets are divided during a divorce can dramatically change people’s options. Retirement accounts and IRAs are considered to be marital assets that are eligible for division. When individuals are older, it is much harder for them to rebuild these accounts once depleted, meaning that they may end up needing to work longer or change their retirement plans.
Another issue related to divorces that occur later in life is alimony. Individuals can be ordered by the court to pay alimony until death, remarriage or for a period of time. This can cut into an individual’s retirement funds greatly. Additionally, someone who is receiving alimony may find that the amount is not enough to live comfortably and pay all the bills; they may need to look for a job. This is something that can be difficult for those who have been out of the workforce for many years.
A person going through a divorce may find it helpful to consult with an attorney. A divorce attorney in Florida could assist a client by explaining what is involved in filing for divorce and what options are available for protecting assets.
Source: Huffington Post, “The Gray Divorce,” Henry Gornbein, March 6, 2013