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What Divorcing Couples Should Watch for In a Late-Life Divorce

D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP Aug. 22, 2019

Late-life divorces, sometimes referred to as grey divorces, can have additional challenges associated with them than other divorces. The current rate of late-life divorces is one in four which is up from one in 10 in the 1990s. Because of the increase of grey divorces, it is helpful for those divorcing later in life to be prepared to meet whatever challenges their divorce may bring.

Divorcing later in life can be exceptionally emotionally and financially taxing. One of the top issues divorcing couples divorcing later in life will need to resolve during their divorce is the division of retirement benefits and Social Security benefits. Both retirement benefits and pensions may be subject to division between the divorcing couple so they should be familiar with how retirement benefits and pensions are divided during a divorce.

The general rule of thumb is that assets acquired during the couple’s marriage are subject to the division process followed in the state during divorce. Property and assets may be divided equally or fairly. Property and assets earned prior to the marriage are typically not subject to the division process. Certain types of assets may be considered comingled so it is also helpful to understand when an asset may be considered comingled. Other challenges during a later in life divorce can include how health insurance is handled and protections for adult children.

Because of the complexities associated with a grey divorce, it is helpful for couples divorcing later in life to ensure they carefully walk through the process, are prepared for what to expect and know how to protect their interests. Divorce can be emotionally taxing and challenging, and later in life divorces are no exception, which is why understanding the process can help prepare couples so their divorce process can be as smooth as possible.