Gray divorce is the term used for divorces involving couples who are 50 years old or older.
If you find yourself in this position, which assets are most in need of protection as you move forward? Here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Employer-sponsored retirement plans
First of all, you or your spouse may have an employer-provided retirement plan or a pension. In some cases, a plan like this can be divided between two married individuals by using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). It may qualify as a marital asset – at least for the portion earned during the marriage – even though only one person is employed and is technically earning the benefits of that plan.
Other retirement savings
These days, many people do not have employer-sponsored plans, but they have other retirement portfolios. Maybe you have your own investments that you’ve made over the years. Perhaps you have received an inheritance from your parents that you were planning to use to retire. You’ll need to seek legal guidance about protecting this type of asset, which may be considered separate or marital property, depending on whether it has been comingled, etc.
Major tangible assets
In many cases, the most valuable asset a couple owns is their house. Younger couples often struggle with what to do with their mortgage and they may be compelled to divide that debt. But in a gray divorce, a house may be paid off, so a couple may have to decide how to divide the value of that marital asset.
Navigating a complicated situation
These are just a few things to keep in mind as you get divorced. Seeking legal guidance concerning the division of your property can help to ensure that you receive a fairly-valued settlement that will allow you to move forward in a confident and financially-stable way.