Hartley Law Office, LLC

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Divorcing over 50 presents special challenges

As previous posts have discussed, while the overall divorce rate is falling, the number of grey divorces in this country has been exploding. Around 1990, only about 10 percent of all people over 50 wound up going through a divorce.

Now, 1 out of 4 people will experience in divorce or legal separation, either in their upper middle age or their retirement years, and that number is expected to continue to climb as the years go by. This means that Ohioans need to be aware of the special issues, which grey divorce presents.

Not surprisingly, property division is a significant issue for those going through divorce later on in life. While property division is a potential controversy in any divorce, older couples are more likely to have accumulated a large number of assets, which are not encumbered by debt.

Likewise, given the passage of time, it may be harder to sort out what is and is not marital property subject to division. In particular, the division of retirement plans can be a hot-button issue. Moreover, for those over the age of 62, a divorce will mean that they will have to consider how to divvy up their Social Security earnings, since that too is an important source of income that will help both sides survive financially in their Golden Years.

Finally, those going through a grey divorce will need to think more carefully about medical care and health insurance than would younger couples. Without appropriate plans for ongoing health care and funding for prescriptions, a Dayton resident could find at the end of a divorce that he or she will have to devote whatever assets are left to medical expenses.

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