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Breaking-Up after 20 + Years of Marriage: Special Considerations for Grey Divorces

Breaking-Up after 20 + Years of Marriage: Special Considerations for Grey Divorces

Divorce at any age can be difficult. Couples who decide to divorce after many years of marriage have to confront unique issues. Grey divorce, as it is termed, refers to marriage break-ups of older couples, over age 50 and had been in long-term marriages. Statistics show a growing trend and increasing rates of grey divorce in America. In just 20 years, the number of grey divorces doubled. In 2009, reports show one in four divorces involved couples over the age of 50 compared to one in ten divorces in 1990.

While child support or custody arrangements usually are not factors for grey divorces, financial matters, including but not limited to spousal support and division of assets, may pose particular concerns. If you are grey divorce couple, you will need to consider the following situations that could affect your financial health and future:

  • Your business – Divorce could threaten the operation or existence of your business if you operated a business that increased in value during your marriage. The court may consider your business as a marital asset. Additionally and depending on the role your spouse has in business, filing for divorce could trigger a forced sale or entitle your spouse to ownership interest.
  • Your retirement – Retirement accounts, including but not limited to, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), pension plans and 401(k) plans, are usually treated as marital assets. Therefore, your divorce settlement agreement should clearly indicate how these assets will be divided and how they will be transferred. In some cases, it may be necessary to prepare a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to fully protect your rights to retirement funds.
  • Your insurance – In addition to health insurance, some grey divorce couples may need to consider life, property, disability or other types of insurance coverage to protect your financial interests.

Grey divorces present difficult issues that may not affect other types of divorce. To adequately address these issues and secure your interests, count on the experienced attorneys at Fox & Associates.



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