Quick Guide to Gray Divorce Issues
Here is a quick reference guide to the unique issues you may need to consider
in a Gray Divorce:
Divorcing when you're closer to retirement can result in a less comfortable
retirement for each spouse after it's divided. Or you may find yourself
needing to access your retirement funds early. You may need to prepare
to make decisions about delaying retirement, increasing your retirement
savings, or retiring with a different lifestyle than you'd originally planned.
In some cases, a spouse is entitled to benefits based on his/her spouse's
social security, depending on the duration of the marriage and each spouse's
income. Getting remarried will stop any spousal social security benefits.
Income and Spousal Support
When a marriage ends, especially a long-term marriage, there are many issues
surrounding income. How will each spouse maintain an income stream? Will
it require rejoining the workforce, paying or receiving spousal support
(alimony), or splitting a fixed income if you're retired?
Division of Assets
Divorces later in life often involve more significant assets. The division
of the property, both community property and separate property, will be
subject to several considerations unique to Gray Divorce, such as how
close each person is to retirement, the length of the marriage, and more.
In a Gray Divorce, the age of the parties calls for issues surrounding
both health and life insurance to be addressed. This includes each person's
ability to afford health insurance. To be able to remain on a spouse's
health insurance plan, a legal separation instead of divorce is a possibility
to be discussed.
As people get older, there is an increased chance that competency may be
an issue affecting that person's ability to represent their own best
interests. In such a situation, an attorney or the court may wish to have
competency proved and take measures to protect the rights of a party who
is found not competent.
Issues surrounding getting older, such as facing the prospect of long-term
care and preparing for one's final wishes, often need to be considered
in a Gray Divorce. Updating your estate plan both during and after the
divorce is advised, as well as planning for the provisions and costs of
long-term medical care, should it be required.