Special Considerations For Property Division During Grey Divorce

In recent years, a growing number of couples who stuck it out together for 20, 30, even 40 years are pulling the plug on their marriage. But for this special demographic, grey divorce can create tremendous pressure and anxiety as they watch their assets diminish by half and their income-earning years draw to a close. Our post this week looks at a handful of the factors that the over-50’s crowd does well to consider while navigating property division during separation and divorce.

Targeted, Long-Term Planning

Unlike younger couples who have a lifetime of open possibilities ahead of them, older couples in conflict need to project their futures with a great deal more precision. Very specific, long term forecasting is the key – both for gaining a fair division of property immediately after the divorce and also to avoid discovering undesirable financial surprises years later during retirement.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How long does each party plan to continue working?
  • What is each side’s projected long-term cash flow needs and expenses?
  • What kind of retirement lifestyle does each envision – someone who plans to travel regularly will require more liquidity, while one who wants to do community volunteering may prefer to keep the matrimonial home.
  • Are there any adult children that may require ongoing support?
  • What level of income can current investments be expected to generate long-term?
  • What is the value of such investments after adjusting for each party’s estimated retirement tax bracket?
  • What is the best timing for drawing from pensions or splitting retirement funds without collapsing the investment entirely or triggering immediate fees or tax consequences?

Sorting through such granular financial issues amid the emotional turmoil of grey divorce is a huge undertaking. But taking steps to combine the advice and analytical expertise of both a lawyer and a financial planner can be invaluable during the process.

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