Getting divorced later in life can be difficult. While there are the emotional realities of untying a relationship that you’ve worked for decades to build, there are also the very real financial ramifications of ending your marriage. Therefore, if it looks like you’re heading for what many people call a “gray divorce,” then you need to devote the time necessary to building a competent legal strategy aimed at protecting your interests.
As you begin developing your approach to your divorce, you’ll need to focus on key legal issues. Here are some of the most important issues that you’ll want to pay particularly close attention to as you build your legal strategy:
- Retirement accounts: As you’ve gotten older, your retirement accounts have probably become your most valuable assets. However, while you may have once thought that you had enough money saved up to retire comfortably, a divorce can threaten to derail that long-term stability. The division of retirement assets is especially problematic given that you have less time to rebuild those funds than a younger individual who gets divorced.
- Spousal support: Many individuals who are part of a gray divorce have been married for a significant period of time. Therefore, they’re usually better positioned to seek alimony. The payment amount may be larger, too, and a spousal support order in these circumstances may last a significant period of time. If the other spouse is hesitant to agree to spousal support, then you may be able to use it as leverage to gain greater access to retirement funds and other meaningful assets.
- Social Security benefits: If you’re older and were married for a long period, then you might be able to rely on your spouse’s earnings record when you draw Social Security benefits. This can serve as a financial lifeline once you retire, especially if your retirement savings were depleted on account of the divorce.
- Medical needs: As you navigate your divorce, you’ll also have to keep in mind that your medical care needs may be more extensive in the years to come. This care can be costly, too, straining your budget and eating into your limited resources. Therefore, as you negotiate a settlement, you’ll want to keep in mind how health insurance and long-term care insurance may come into play.
- Tax implications: The type of assets that are being divided in your divorce may have significant tax implications, too, further eating into the financial resources that you thought you can rely upon. There may be strategies that you can implement to protect yourself here, though. You simply need to be aware of the issues and how to properly address them.
- Hidden assets: You and your spouse have accumulated assets over a long period. Given that, it’s hard to keep track of everything that may be considered part of the marital estate. This can make it easy for your spouse to hide assets from you, thereby leaving you at a financial disadvantage once your divorce is finalized.
Craft the strong legal strategy that you need
As you can see, there’s a lot on the line in your divorce. That’s why you may be better off seeking assistance from a legal professional who is experienced in handling gray divorces. One of these advocates can educate you on and guide you through the process so that you can position yourself as strongly as possible to secure the outcome that you deserve.
If you’re ready to learn more about how to approach your marriage dissolution, then now may be the best time for you to consider reaching out to a legal professional of your choosing.