What issues take center stage in a ‘grey divorce’?

| Oct 6, 2020 | Firm News

When a couple in their 50s or 60s in the Riverside area decide to divorce, their divorce may look very different from their counterparts in their 20s and 30s. When it comes to a “grey divorce” issues such as child custody or child support may not be relevant if the children are grown and out of the house. However, financial issues such as property division may be very important, especially if the couple is near retirement or has already retired. The following are some financial tips those going through a “grey divorce” will want to keep in mind moving forward.

Property division in a grey divorce

California is a community property state with regards to property division. However, when it comes to a grey divorce, even if assets are split 50-50 in the property division process, their cost basis and tax treatment may differ.

Divorce and the family home

The marital home also is a major asset in many grey divorces. Generally, divorcing couples can sell it and split the equity, one spouse can keep it and the other spouse can be granted assets of an equal value, one spouse can buy out the other’s share in the home, or both spouses can continue to jointly own the home post-divorce. Couples in a grey divorce will want to consider their current and future living arrangements, so appropriate choices can be made regarding the family home.

Retirement plans in a grey divorce

Retirement plans are essential to many of those going through a grey divorce. For non-IRA accounts, a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) should be used when it comes to the division of these accounts in a divorce. However, QDROs are legal documents, so this is not something couples should try to draft on their own.

Property and financial issues are at center of a grey divorce

As this shows, while divorce legal issues regarding children may not be relevant in a grey divorce, financial issues and property division issues will take center stage. However, every divorce is unique, and issues that may be present in one couple’s divorce may not be present in another couple’s divorce. This post does not contain legal advice, so those going through a divorce at any age will want to seek professional guidance so they can make informed decisions that are in their best interests.

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