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Divorce over 50 has unique challenges with property division

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2021 | Property Division

For New Yorkers over 50 whose marriage is struggling and divorce is on the table, there are different concerns that there would be for younger people who are just starting out in their adult life. With these cases – a so-called “gray” divorce – certain factors come to the forefront. One is property division and how to protect finances for a comfortable retirement. From the outset, it is wise to have advice on the specific circumstances common in a gray divorce.

Steps to take to shore up finances in a gray divorce

The number of gray divorces has been rising as empty-nesters and those heading toward their golden years realize they are unhappy in their marriage. Before embarking on a post-marital life, it is imperative to consider certain fundamentals about a gray divorce in the context of property division. A mistake that commonly causes challenges is not knowing what property is there to begin with. During a marriage that has lasted for an extended period, the couple will accrue assets. That can include real estate, automobiles, retirement assets and collectibles. This should be inventoried. It is also smart to calculate debts and what is owed.

Pensions are a reward for a lifetime of hard work. But when there is a divorce, this could be in dispute. If one party had a job with a good pension plan and the other did not, there can be a disagreement or outright acrimony if the person who did not have a solid plan tries to take a piece of the other’s pension. It could even lead to a person facing the prospect of not being able to retire at all.

Marital property and separate property can be confusing. In general, items that were accrued after the couple was married are jointly owned, but that is not always the case. If there was a business that one owned beforehand and it improved significantly during the marriage, the improvement could be marital property. Beneficiary designations are frequently forgotten. With that, if something happens to the person with the policy, the former spouse might receive a windfall when that is not what the policyholder wanted. These should be changed.

Having assistance with property division can cover all the bases

Those with substantial assets and concerns over the future should be fully prepared when moving forward with a gray divorce. Property division is one of the most contentious issues that people must deal with in a family law case. Before making costly mistakes, being prepared is crucial. From the start, it is advisable to have experienced advice with all areas of a divorce to avoid problems that can cause hefty damage to the future.