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Disecting The Finances of Gray Divorce

 

Gray divorce has been a hot topic in the news as of late, as the nation has seen a rise in the amount of those fitting into the age bracket of 55+ divorcing at a higher rate in the last year. The topic has been dissected by everyone in the media, trying to come up with reasonable explanations as to why after so many years, these people are starting to go their separate ways. however, nobody has really broken down the ins and outs of just how and what happens to the other important items  in a marriage of those who are senior citizens.

Age Brings Assets

One of the first things to think of are the assets for both spouses. We accumulate an abundance of things as we go through our lives, so naturally the older you are, the more you have. Finances too; many of those in the gray divorce category are retired and live off IRA’s and retirement funds, some even off social security. The big questions is, what happens to that?

Divorce and Social Security

The government has put in place a number of specific guidelines in terms of those receiving Social Security. When a divorce occurs, there are a few slight changes as to who and how much is received. If you are age 62 years or older, were married 10 years or more, and are currently unmarried, and you are not entitled to receive a higher benefit based on your own work, you can receive benefits based on your ex’s earnings, even if he or she remarried. If both spouses worked, the lower earner may receive benefits based on the higher earner’s work. If you have never worked, you can collect benefits on your ex spouses work, and your ex is still eligible to collect what he or she has earned over the years.The longer you wait to collect divorced spousal benefits, up to your full retirement age, the higher your benefit will be.

So, this may be a lot to remember for gray divorce law but knowing these things in regards to your finances will help. Grey divorce can be tricky as there are typically more factors involved in the process of filing and obtaining a divorce than for someone of a lower age or who isn’t retired.

All in Order
It is important to take preventative and protective measures during a marriage so that if the day does come where a dissolution of marriage occurs, both parties are comfortably financially stable. Be an active participant in your family finances and you’ll establish the know-how and confidence to better succeed after the divorce is finalized. Make sure you fully understand your share of all assets and that all the details are clearly spelled out in your divorce settlement agreement.

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