Recent research has focused on the growing trend of older adults deciding filing for divorce. A study called “The Gray Divorce Revolution” conducted by sociologists at Bowling Green University focused on the rising number of divorces that occur in later stages of life. In 1990, less than one-tenth of divorcing individuals were over 50 years old, but today that number has increased significantly to one-fourth. In addition, one in ten divorcing spouses are over the age of 65, which is more than twice the number 30 years ago. With the increase in “gray divorces,” it is important to examine some of the legal issues that may be more prevalent for these divorcing spouses.
Keeping the House
Staying in the family home may not be a priority for many younger spouses who end their marriage, but older homeowners may have potential benefits in being awarded their house. The following are some benefits of homeownership in retirement years:
- As you age, you may become eligible for tax waivers and exemptions for your real estate;
- Owning a home can provide benefits when applying for Medicaid or other public benefits;
- You may need the tax benefits of deducting mortgage interest to offset higher tax liability in retirement;
- Homeowners age 62 or older become eligible for a reverse mortgage, which can help with financial support;
- Even if you choose not to live in the home, it may provide rental income or significant equity if you have owned the home for a long time.
Retirement Accounts and Benefits
Retirement accounts are generally a marital asset that will be equitably divided upon divorce. Dividing retirement savings can be complicated and it is always critical to have the guidance of an experienced attorney who can assist with this process. An attorney can help get your Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) approved for pensions or investments accounts.
Additionally, if you are 62 or older and were married for at least ten years, you may be eligible for a percentage of your former spouse’s Social Security benefits. This is particularly important if you stopped working during the marriage to raise children and provide household support and, therefore, are not qualified for adequate Social Security on your own.
Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Divorce Attorney for a Free Consultation
Whether you are divorcing after one year of marriage or after 50 years, many complicated and unexpected legal issues may arise during the course of your case. It is crucial to have an experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer representing you, especially if there is a substantial amount of money or property at stake. Family law attorney Alan R. Burton has protected the rights of many individuals facing divorce and can help to ensure you receive the most favorable outcome in your divorce so that you can enjoy your future with peace and financial stability. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 954-229-1660 to discuss your situation.