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.