In the last 30 years, there has been a record surge in the number of “gray divorces” being filed by baby boomers. A gray divorce refers to couples who separate after decades of marriage. As times change and lifespans increase, it’s becoming more common for people to reconsider the quality of their lives as they approach their golden years. Even so, there are unique financial complications that divorcing spouses need to consider.
Issue #1: Asset Division
Asset division is a significant feature of the divorce process. However, it’s difficult for couples to determine individual contributions when they’ve spent 20+ years together. This indicates that the equitable distribution of property may not be a fair 50/50 endeavor, particularly since the court typically favors an economically disadvantaged spouse. In many cases, a valid and updated prenuptial agreement can simplify the divorce process.
The court determines asset distribution based on:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and heath of both parties
- The value of community and separate properties
- The culmination of community and separate debts
- The income of both parties
A divorce lawyer can review your assets and negotiate on your behalf.
Issue #2: Social Security Benefits
It’s important to consider your financial situation before filing for divorce. After all, you deserve to live your retirement years in financial stability and comfort. Unfortunately, divorce is costly, and you may have trouble rebuilding your finances after the process is complete. You don’t want to extend your career or seek new employment because you can’t ensure your livelihood.
Social Security benefits may help you find financial security after divorce. However, a gray divorce has an interesting effect on a couple’s benefits. After a divorce, it’s possible for one spouse to claim benefits based on their ex’s earnings record.
However, this is only applicable if:
- Both spouses are over the age of 62
- The ex is claiming Social Security benefits.
If your ex hasn’t filed for benefits, you must wait 2 years to claim benefits as an “independently entitled spouse.” It’s important to discuss Social Security regulations with a legal representative prior to your divorce.
Seek Legal Representation
Contact Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. if you’re interested in filing for a gray divorce. Our Madison divorce attorneys offer experienced legal counsel and skilled representation to clients ready to complete the divorce process.
Call Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. at (608) 765-1001(608) 765-1001 to schedule a case evaluation.