“Silver” or “Gray” Divorces

By Michael J. Clonts, Esq.

undefinedAccording to recent studies, divorces among adults ages 50 and older in the United States is on the rise.

This is due to a combination of factors, including the overall population of “Baby Boomers” entering into retirement years, children moving out of the marital home (which has the effect of couples reassessing what their marriage is based on), and a change in mentality for those entering retirement as a “new season” in their lives, with new goals and motivations that may no longer match those of their spouse.

Whatever the cause, these divorces, often dubbed “silver” or “gray” divorces, can have an entirely different set of considerations and challenges from divorces among younger demographics who are still in the midst of careers and child-rearing.

A common challenge is, now that the traditional career income is no longer flowing, how will each spouse be financially self-sufficient through retirement?

How are social security, 401(k), annuities, pensions, and other retirement assets to be divided?

Another consideration is debt. If there is still a mortgage on the home, how is it to be paid? Where will each spouse live? Is there enough money for two homes? Are there unpaid student loans from either spouse or from the children that the couple has guaranteed?

Often overlooked is the importance of making changes in your estate planning.

Either during or after a divorce, it is essential to make changes to your Will and/or Living Trust, Powers of Attorney and beneficiary designations.

In our five (5) part blog series this month, we will go through some of the issues that arise in divorces for couples at or near retirement age, including social security and/or retirement accounts, debts, spousal support (alimony) and updating your estate plan either during the divorce or once it is over.

Look on our website (http://www.oplaw.com/Blog.aspx) this month each Friday for a new blog in this series.

If you are considering a divorce and are at or approaching retirement age, you need an experienced attorney who can negotiate the unique issues that are associated with a gray divorce. If you would like to work with one of our experienced attorneys, please call us at 480.630.2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation. We can help.

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