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Factors to Consider in Late-Life Divorce

Factors to Consider in Late-Life Divorce

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 5-Apr-2013

Divorces over the age of fifty are an extremely fast growing trend, and what has led to this change in the world of divorce is not quite certain. Many researchers suggest that more spouses are divorcing as they are living longer and realizing that they have the freedom to leave a marriage, even after 30 plus years together. While it is exciting for many older people to realize the freedom they have even in their later years, it is important that they prepare ahead of time for certain factors they need to consider before finalizing divorce. The longer you are married, the tighter you are tied together and that means the more difficult your divorce will be because of the amount of assets you have and more. There are three factors that can cause issues in a divorce for older couples are specifically the division of your property, retirement and your social security benefits.

When dividing your property and assets, you will want to consider not only the value of what you have but also what is most beneficial to you as you continue to grow older. For example, while many younger divorcing couples will just sell their home in the event of a divorce and then split the assets, you may decide that actually keeping the hose is most beneficial to you and your almost ex.

Believe it or not, but in many situations your age can affect your ability to buy a new home and as an older person you may be eligible for certain exemptions on property tax; and when you have the house paid off that can make your standard of living much less expensive. Once you hit the age of 62, you are also then eligible for a reverse mortgage on your home as a source of income. Also, by keeping your home; even if you eventually move into a nursing home it can still act as income if you decide to rent it out when you leave or you pass away and hand it down to your children.

Retirement plans are a complicating thing in of themselves, when adding divorce into the picture it can be even more difficult. When dividing this "property" you will have to apply for a court order specifically for retirement called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) in order to divide the assets of our benefits with the spouse you are divorcing. Due to the complexity of this process, having the help of a skilled divorce lawyer is absolutely essential, as they can help you seek to obtain the assets that are rightfully yours in the divorce.

Lastly, when dividing your social security benefits you will want the help of an attorney because this process is actually not something that the court will divide for you in the event of a divorce. In the event that you are over the age of 62 years and you and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years, then you are eligible to collect on their benefits from their social security recording. Depending on your unique situation, you may be able to receive half of your ex-spouses benefits after divorce.

Also, after two years of divorce you can begin using the social security benefits as income even if you're ex hasn't started receiving them yet. Also if your ex-spouse dies, the same rules apply as long as you are over the age of 60 and were married for at least a decade.

In the event you are considering a divorce, contact the Meyers Law Group for a skilled Long Island divorce lawyer!