Family law attorneys in Texas and around the country now handle “gray divorce” cases more frequently. The term describes divorces of married couples who are aged 50 or older. A divorce at any age involves the issue of property division, including who keeps the family home. However, with retirement looming on the horizon, older couples may want to focus more on what they need to support themselves in retirement.
Most divorces use negotiations and settlements rather than court proceedings to come up with agreements regarding issues such as alimony, custody and property division. However, emotion-based decisions made at the end of a marriage can prove costly. Younger individuals have more time to make up for financial mistakes made during divorces, but older individuals face pressure to get the details of their divorce right.
With less time for a financial recovery, getting advice from a certified financial planner often helps older individuals. These professionals offer information on potential earnings from Social Security and the legal requirements of dividing retirement assets during a divorce. A forensic accountant may also be of use by uncovering hidden assets, which can come into play regardless of the amount of money at stake.
Couples are urged to think long term when negotiating financial details during a divorce. They could seek to learn about available options for things such as Social Security benefits and retirement accounts. While some divorcing spouses might seek the marital home and alimony payments, they could lose a source of income during retirement. A divorce attorney could provide more information regarding the division of 401(k)s and other retirement accounts.
Source: Forbes, “The Big Money Mistake Divorcing Women Make“, Kerry Hannon, July 03, 2014