Older Couples ending their marriage in divorce!
As a long time and experienced divorce attorney I have seen that the rates of divorcing couples over the age of 50 has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.
When younger couples divorce their issues are regarding child custody, parenting time, child support, allocation of debts and spousal maintenance if there is a disparity of income.
In a Gray divorce, the children are grown, many of the debts have been paid, the parties own more assets, retirement is larger and retirement plans are imminent. Therefore, the issues shift to:
- Division of Real Estate, Brokerage accounts, Life Insurance policies and cash value and bank accounts
- Retirement Plan division
- Social Security optimization
- Spousal Maintenance
- Inheritances and Trusts
Arizona is a community property state. So assets acquired during the marriage need to be divided, even if they have assets acquired in other states. Some assets are held in a trust or the spouses have inherited funds. All these issues need to be considered.
All retirement befits from deferrals made during the marriage and gains or losses are community in matter. If a spouse had premarital retirement account, those would not be community property.
I am often asked “if I divorce my husband of 30 years, will I lose my entitlement to social security from his contribution?” The short answer is no. If you were married 10 years or more and are age 62 or older you are entitled to receive benefits of your soon to be ex-husband based on his earning records, regardless if he remarries or you remarry. However, there are ways to optimize your social security benefits if you are divorced. So before your file for social security benefits, consult the Social Security Administration and/or your attorney or CPA.
As to spousal maintenance (alimony), if you are seeking a divorce and neither you nor your spouse are still working, you probably do not have a claim for spousal maintenance. If one of you is still employed and receiving an income then you might have rights to spousal maintenance for an indefinite (open ended) period of time.
For anyone considering a “Gray Divorce,” if you have had a long term marriage, maybe you can figure out how you drifted apart, try to fall in love with each other again and live happily ever after together. If a divorce is the only alternative to a miserable marriage, give us a call at (480) 833-1113, we have experienced divorce attorneys here to help. If you intend to remarry, consider a premarital agreement, we can also help you with that decision as well.