Long, Murphy & Zung, P.A.

Splitting up assets during a gray divorce can get complicated

Divorce rates among those age 50 and older are on the rise according to to researchers at Bowling Green State University. In fact, they account for at least one-quarter of all marriages that end in divorce in the United States.

This uptick in divorce rates among those nearing retirement can be attributed to more women joining the workforce, changing perspectives about marriage and remarriage and partners living longer lives.

As if a divorce were to come at an ideal time, legal and financial experts warn that ones that occur during the "gray years" have the potential of being particularly financially debilitating. Couples have often amassed complex assets, intend to remain in the workforce for only a very short time, and have expenses like weddings to cover for their adult kids.

When faced with divorce, one of the first decisions you're going want to make will have to do with what to do about the family home. While you may have grown attached to over the years, it may be far too large and costly for you alone to maintain.

Instead of living in an oversized home, you may find that downsizing to a smaller, less expensive one is ideal. If you do that, then it's likely that you'll be able to save the proceeds from the sale of your marital home and use that savings to support yourself over the next few years.

Whether you will be able to retain the entirety of your pension or have access to your ex's is entirely contingent upon the divorce settlement that is brokered. Pensions have a way of not extending very far, though, when used to support two separate homes.

Alimony awards may be smaller than they otherwise would be for couples at a different stage of life as your ex's income is increasing instead of dwindling. And, if you're the paying spouse, then any further deductions to your income can make financing your lifestyle much more difficult.

Another complication brought about by divorce is that it will likely result in you being unable to remain on your ex's insurance plan. Unless you're about to turn 65, then you'll need to pay your own health insurance premiums until Medicare kicks in.

If you're preparing to divorce your spouse and you're nearing retirement, then a Naples attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

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