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Those facing gray divorce should address retirement accounts

As many Massachusetts residents may have heard, so-called "gray divorces," those that occur between couples age 50 and older, are becoming more common. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that gray divorces doubled between 1990 and 2010. In fact, nearly 25 percent of all divorces in 2010 were amongst those 50 and older, and the figure is expected to rise in the coming years.

There may be may be many factors adding to the increasing divorce rate among older Americans. One reason may be that with more women in the workforce, they feel more financially comfortable filing for divorce. Also, baby boomers who have remarried may find themselves more likely to divorce. Increased life expectancy may also play a role, with older individuals seeking a new, fresh start.

Older Massachusetts residents who are considering a divorce must evaluate the financial ramifications of such a decision. Couples that have been married for a long time often have more assets than a younger couple, making the division of marital property and debts more complex. These couples may need to assess their retirement accounts, deferred compensation, stock options and other assets in order to secure their independent financial futures.

A Worcester Divorce Lawyer can help a divorcing party understand the divorce process and advise him or her as to the best actions to take to support his or her best interests. This may mean helping a divorcing party valuate existing marital property and debt and arguing for an equitable, though not necessarily equal, share. An attorney may also help a divorcing party assess whether existing property is individual property, thereby removing it from the property division discussion.

There are many divorce legal issues that must be considered when filing for divorce, such child custody, child support and alimony. To obtain a better understanding of these issues, a divorcing party may wish to speak with a legal professional.

Source: The Intelligencer, "'Gray divorces' on the rise," Crissa Shoemaker DeBree, Mar. 30, 2014

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