For people over 50, going through a divorce comes with a unique set of challenges. While you may not have to worry about child custody and support, there are many other concerns to take their place. Here are some important issues to think about when going through a gray divorce:
Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is a greater likelihood in long-term marriages. It is designed to offset economic imbalances, including those that result from one spouse staying home to raise children while the other works. Payments will continue for five years for marriages that lasted 10 to 20 years, seven years for marriages that lasted 20 to 30 years, or 10 years for marriages that lasted more than 30 years. You must take great care to ensure that spousal maintenance payments are fair.
2. Retirement Accounts
Retirement accounts – including pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs – are subject to property division, whether they are in current pay status or not. However, if the retirement account is currently in pay status, special considerations must be taken when dividing.
3. Social Security
Social Security benefits are not subject to property division. However, they may still need to be addressed during the divorce. One spouse may be entitled to continuing post-divorce benefits based on the other’s Social Security account, depending on age and the length of the marriage. You must not overlook Social Security issues.
Child custody and support are not issues that divorcing couples with adult children have to deal with. However, the reality is that many parents over 50 still provide some amount of financial support to their adult children. In some cases, adult children still live with their parents. This will need to be addressed when dividing property.
5. Beneficiary Designations And Wills
Couples over 50 have likely done some estate planning. You may have a will and some insurance policies. Following a divorce, it is critical to revise estate plans to ensure that assets will be passed down correctly. It is also important to review life insurance policies and other insurance policies to update beneficiary designations.
6. Nursing Home Care
For older couples going through a divorce, nursing home issues may need to be taken into consideration. Will one or both spouses be moving into a nursing home soon? How will nursing home care be paid for? Is the divorce an attempt to protect assets and maintain Medicaid eligibility for the spouse entering the nursing home?
Talk To An Experienced Attorney
These issues can be extremely complex, making it important to talk to someone who understands all the intertwining laws that come into play. Ultimately, you want to make certain to take the steps necessary to position yourself for immediate stability following the divorce. At Weinman & Associates, we can help you pursue that goal.