Many couples over the age of 50 have growing concerns about divorce, both in terms of its prevalence in their lives among friends and family, as well as how to go through the process themselves. Divorce rates among couples over 50 have doubled over the past 25 years, and for couples over 65, rates have tripled. Called “gray divorce,” this phenomenon among older Americans brings with it some major concerns – because older couples are closer to or, in some cases, already in their retirement period, managing finances can be increasingly tricky.
Managing a Gray Divorce
Washington Township divorce lawyers have a few pieces of advice for older couples looking into divorce, as there are a number of key differences to younger couples who are separating. One major concern is that older couples are ideally saving money once the children are out of the house and retirement has either kicked in, or is quickly approaching. Maintaining both party’s standards of living can be difficult, and it is important to consider whether the savings accrued will be able to sustain both people after assets are divided. If each spouse’s respective savings will not be able to support them, there are a number of solutions that can mitigate the financial stress.
Selling or renting out the house can be a sensible move, especially since the children tend to be financially stable (or approaching stability) and having a larger home for a single resident can be a burden more than a blessing. Educating oneself on the basics for handling money is a good idea if the other partner has traditionally taken care of the finances – especially among those who have married young, it can be difficult to know how to budget appropriately without prior experience. Many couples have shared banking accounts, so learning how to manage a checking and savings account as well as responsible use of credit cards are good first steps to consider. Older divorcees may also want to consider altering their beneficiaries appropriately.
If you have a 401k, it is important to understand your options when separating. There are four ways couples typically divide assets from a 401k: comparable value, splitting the account, liquidating the account, and rollover. A comparable value split means that one spouse retains the 401k’s assets, and the spouse would receive something of comparable value, such as a vehicle and/or other property. Splitting the account is just as it sounds; however, the execution can be more complex due to rules for distribution and tax regulations. A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, is required for splitting money in the account. Liquidating the account refers to cashing it out entirely, but there are typically large penalties when choosing this option. Rollover is enabled if you are no longer employed by the company that started the 401k, and are at least age 59 ½.
Washington Township Divorce Lawyers at Kearney, Burns & Martone Advocate for Families in South Jersey
If you are considering divorce and are nearing retirement, contacting your local Washington Township divorce lawyers can make the process significantly easier. Aside from being able to advise you on financial matters, the team at Kearney, Burns & Martone is experienced at representing their clients in gray divorce, and are dedicated to ensuring that your assets are protected. Call 856-547-7733 today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.