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Divorce over Fifty: Financial Ramifications of Gray Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Texas complex divorce attorney, Texas alimony lawyer, Texas high asset attorney, Unmarried women over 50 are nearly five times more likely to live in poverty as married women in that age group, according to a recent divorce study.

Researchers from Bowling Green University also found a number of other "wide ranging financial consequences" to divorce in this age group. There are several reasons for this reality. First, according to the study, unmarried women receive significantly lower Social Security payments than married ones, mostly because when the system was designed, later-in-life divorce was essentially unheard of. Secondly, women who divorce earlier in life have more time to recoup lost wealth through employment and investment income.

Curiously, the age/income disparity was not present among men of a similar age.

Divorce Over 50

Marriage dissolution in this age group has doubled over the past two decades, even as the overall divorce rate has declined. Marriage dissolution in this age group creates a much different set of issues. Among younger couples, child custody and child support loom large; oftentimes, the only property to distribute is a rather small retirement nest egg and property that has little or no equity.

But a highasset divorce between spouses over 50 nearly always involves complex property division questions. These issues are accentuated when one or more spouses has been married before, since the retirement account has probably already been divided once.

In addition to a retirement account, other financial assets to divide include:

  • Marital Residence: In addition to its large financial value, this property may have an emotional value that is even higher.
  • Non-Residential Real Property: These assets often have issues regarding commingled funds; for example, a couple may use money from their paychecks (community property) to improve a house that belonged to the husband prior to the marriage (separate property).
  • Non-Monetary Property: Items like airline miles and country club memberships may have little or no cash value, but they must still be accounted for in the complex property litigation.

Texas law requires that the marital assets be distributed in a "just and right" fashion, which is not necessarily the same thing as an equal distribution.

A gray divorce creates special issues. For a confidential consultation with an aggressive Williamson County complex divorce lawyer, contact the Law Offices of William D. Powers at 512.610.6199 today.

Sources:

http://www.ifa.com.au/news/15586-grey-divorce-leaves-women-financially-disadvantaged

http://www.npr.org/2014/02/24/282105022/older-americans-breakups-are-causing-a-graying-divorce-trend

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759