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How may a gray divorce affect my ability to hang on to my assets?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Divorce

Statistics compiled by the Pew Research Center revealed that the divorce rate between spouses in their 50s showed close to a twofold increase since the 1990s. As reported by SmartAsset, the divorce rate between individuals over the age of 65 has tripled.

With a long-term marriage, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have accumulated several valuable assets together. California’s community property laws, however, recognize marital assets as belonging equally to both spouses.

Property division issues for older couples

A gray divorce may include carefully planning your asset division while also preparing for a comfortable retirement. Taking sole ownership of marital property may require negotiating a “trade” or buying out your spouse’s share.

As noted by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, your divorce may require evenly dividing retirement accounts and pension plans. The court, for example, may require an equal division of the equity in a 401(k). The value may also provide a figure to offer your spouse as a trade for other assets instead of withdrawing funds.

Court-ordered financial support

Because older individuals typically have established careers, a divorce may contain a request for court-ordered spousal support. As described on the Judicial Council of California’s website, a judge may review several factors to determine a payment amount.

The length of your marriage and how much each spouse currently earns may help in calculating a support amount. If you or your spouse have health issues, the court needs to know about them before determining financial support. A couple’s debts also require dividing equally in half, and a judge may consider outstanding liabilities when approving a divorce decree.

Spouses married for several years often face complex divorces because of their accumulated properties. You may, however, negotiate a division or financial support arrangement that allows for your retirement needs.