Common challenges in a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2021 | Divorce

A lengthy marriage may prove more challenging to end. The longer the relationship, the trickier a divorce.

A gray divorce occurs when spouses over 50 decide to split. People approaching retirement account for the largest number of divorce filings. The road through a gray divorce may prove difficult; however, it may help to understand some of the most common challenges faced along the way.

Marital versus premarital property

After many years of marriage, it may become difficult to separate what existed before the nuptials. The premarital property does not divide during divorce, while everything obtained during the union does. One thing that is not available for dividing is an inheritance.

Unknown assets and debt

As marriage continues, one spouse may not remain in the know about finances. It is typical for one to take the reigns and handle accounting matters. During a divorce, both parties submit financial disclosures that should account for all assets and debts. This may prove surprising if one spouse does not know about the debt or assets the other kept at a distance.

Retirement accounts

Mature couples often have sizeable retirement accounts. There are a few ways that spouses in gray divorce may choose to split the money into such accounts. A Qualified Relations Order or QDRO is often necessary to allow early withdrawals from a retirement account. Spouses may divide retirement money through a lump-sum cash payout or by allocating other property or funds instead.

Moving forward after a divorce is possible, even as spouses enter retirement. Making the process as smooth as possible by remaining transparent may help get to the next step more successfully.