Important Issues To Consider When Divorcing Over 50

Important Issues to Consider when Divorcing Over 50

Incredibly, divorce rates in America seem to be on the decline over the last several years, after many years of increasing.  Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case for couples over the age of 50.  Late-life divorces have increase significantly in the last two decades, going from just 1 in 10 to a current rate of about 1 in 4 marriages ending in divorce when partners are over the age of 50.

While divorce is never easy, it can be especially complicated at this age, not because of underage children, as is the case with younger couples, but because of the amount and diversity of assets the couple has amassed over decades of partnership, as well as the fact that many people at this age are starting to think about retirement.

The financial impact of divorce is significant, as couples cut their joint assets (and debts) in half and go their separate ways.  This can leave one or both partners in dire financial straits at a time when their earning potential could be heading toward a fixed income situation.  Before you decide to give your partner whatever he or she wants just to make the whole problem go away, there are a few important issues you’ll want to consider.

Division of Marital Assets in Michigan

There are three main things you need to focus on when it comes to division of assets and debts during a divorce: accurate inventory, tax ramifications, and legal costs.  When it comes to division of assets, Michigan takes a “fair and equitable” approach, which is not the same as equal, necessarily, but tends to shake out to roughly equal if both parties are on the up-and-up about disclosing assets.

When it comes to the division of assets and debts, however, the onus is on you and your spouse to make sure everything is accounted for if you want an equitable division.  You also need to consider the tax ramifications of a divorce settlement.  If you take a lump sum payment as opposed to alimony, for example, it could affect your tax bracket and the amount you owe in a given year.

Finally, you can’t ignore legal costs.  If you and your spouse fight and drag out the legal battle, the amount you’ll end up paying in attorney fees on both sides will go up.  Trying to come to a speedy resolution will help you retain the lion’s share of assets you receive in a divorce.

Retirement Accounts

Most people don’t realize that pensions, 401K plans, IRAs, and other retirement accounts could be considered as assets in a divorce.  When tallying up assets, don’t forget to include these or you could face a nasty surprise when the court rules on division of assets.

Living Expenses

During a divorce, it’s tempting to prioritize your pride over the opportunity for spousal support, but this could be a massive mistake.  Government statistics show that household income following divorce drops by roughly 25% for men and 40% for women, on average, and you need to consider this before you leave money on the table that you’re eligible to receive.

If you need help figuring out the best way to protect yourself during a late-life divorce, contact the qualified professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 to learn more.

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We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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