Divorce Over 50

When a couple divorces later in life—often after kids are grown and they have achieved financial stability—the situation is commonly referred to as “gray divorce.” Rates of divorce among couples over the age of 50 is rising far faster than in any other age group.

Couples who are not happy together no longer feel like they need to put up with a life that is holding them back. That freedom opens up tremendous possibilities.

However, before moving forward with a divorce, couples over the age of 50 need to be aware of the special concerns they face. Nolletti Law Group understands how to help couples protect their interests in gray divorce, particularly when it comes to complex financial challenges.

Difficulty Identifying Separate Assets

Generally, property that is classified as marital property is divided equitably in a New York divorce while each spouse keeps property classified as separate. Assets you receive through an inheritance are usually considered your separate property. The same holds true with assets you owned before you were married.

However, if those assets increased in value during the marriage, then the value of the increase could be treated as a marital property component of the particular asset. Moreover, if your separate property was comingled with marital property, it might lose its separate characteristic entirely and be treated completely as marital property.

It is a good idea to locate as many records as you can regarding property you owned before marriage. Or if you contributed value to your spouse’s separate property (directly or indirectly), you want to find records that could help you gain your fair share of an increase in value. For instance, if your spouse owned a business before getting married and it became more successful (and valuable) during the marriage due to your direct or indirect contribution, your attorney should be able to argue that you are entitled to a share of the value of that otherwise separate business. 

Difficulty Locating Assets

During a lengthy marriage, many spouses lose track of assets. If you have an old debt, someone will remind you to pay it. If you opened a savings account or purchased collectibles years ago, however, you may have forgotten all about them. Or if your spouse purchased certain assets, you might not even be aware of their existence.

Locating the full extent of your property holdings can be a challenge for any couple, but it is especially difficult for couples married for decades. If one spouse actively tries to hide assets, the task grows exponentially harder. However, at Nolletti Law Group, we frequently work with forensic accountants who understand exactly how to locate and value hidden assets so that our clients can obtain their fair share of marital property.

Difficulty with Financial Planning

Couples who divorce need to adjust to a lifestyle that is often more costly. While two can’t exactly live as cheaply as one, two people sharing a home generally spend less than two people establishing separate households. When divorce occurs later in life, close to or after retirement, you don’t have time to rebuild your retirement savings. You will need a financial plan to take this into account. In addition, you may need to take special steps to divide retirement savings, such as establishing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to enable fund operators to pay benefits to you as the retiree’s spouse 

If one spouse focused on home life rather than career during most of the marriage, that spouse may face additional difficulties earning money to maintain their current lifestyle. They may also find it extremely costly to purchase health insurance. All these factors need to be factored into your divorce settlement.

Finally, many gray divorces are also high-net-worth divorces. It is important to ensure that your divorce attorney understands how to properly value, tax-impact and divide property and debts, including stock options, business holdings, and real estate interests.

Nolletti Law Group Protects the Interests of Couples Divorcing Later in Life

Divorce over 50 presents challenges, but if you are prepared to address those challenges, you can emerge ready for a bright future. At Nolletti Law Group, we understand how to develop plans that enable our clients to make the most of their opportunities in any situation, including divorcing at a later stage in life. 

We work to ensure that all assets are located, valued, and divided fairly. We strive to prevent or resolve conflict that can destroy family relationships. At the same time, we are ready to litigate strategically to protect your interests if negotiations fail to produce the right results.

To learn the many ways we can support you in gray divorce, contact us today to arrange a confidential consultation.