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Property division in gray divorces

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2021 | High Net-worth Divorce

For older spouses in New York and throughout the US who want to get divorced, ending a marriage can look very different than it would for young couples. Older couples usually have adult children who are no longer living with them, so they don’t have to worry about child custody or support. Couples who decide to split after being married for decades may also have a more amicable divorce than their younger counterparts since they have been through several changes in life and have simply grown apart. However, older spouses who are engaging in a high net-worth divorce will be faced with some unique challenges, and it is important to be prepared for them.

How common is gray divorce?

According to the Pew Research Center, gray divorce, or divorce involving spouses who are 50 and older, has doubled since the 1990s. This means that both parties have to understand how to fairly divide their assets and retirement plans, especially in a high net-worth divorce. Even though one or both partners may be generous and cooperative, there are specific rules associated with IRAs and 401K retirement plans. The closer the couple is to retiring, the more important it is to adhere to these guidelines.

Things to keep in mind during a gray divorce

One of the most important things to remember in a high net-worth divorce, especially one that occurs later in life, is that both parties are going to take a financial hit. Couples who are splitting up previously lived in one home and had a set income amount.

It is important to note that retirement plans are some of the assets that have to be divided, even if the retirement plan only belongs to one spouse. However, contributions to a retirement account often come from the couple’s joint income, which means the money must be split between the two individuals. A qualified New York family law attorney might be able to assist if you’re considering a gray divorce and want to make sure your assets are divided fairly once your marriage has ended.

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