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More couples approaching golden years deciding to divorce

Retirement accounts, investment accounts and home equity are usually part of the equation as a Michigan couple grows older and approaches their golden years. However, research is also showing that for more and more of these couples, divorce is also becoming a reality. The number of Americans over the age of 50 who decide to divorce has almost doubled in the past 30 years.

Once the decision to divorce is made, many other decisions must also be made. As these decisions are being thought through and each individual reflects upon which assets he or she wishes to stake claim to, the cost, tax implication and potential decrease in value of each asset should be considered. For example, retirement accounts are generally where a considerable bulk of marital property is held. However, depending on the age of the individual, these funds are not readily available to meet living expenses without significant tax penalty.

Over the course of time, it is also likely that the couple has purchased a family home. Prior to deciding to give up monetary assets in order to keep the home, one needs to consider the possible future value of the home and the possibility of needing access to monetary funds in case of a medical or other emergency. Rather than give in to emotion, one often needs to step back and review the situation rather than immediately laying claim to the family home.

The fact that a Michigan resident is approaching retirement age does not necessarily mean that he or she should remain in an unhappy marriage. However, it does mean that each individual should carefully review his or her assets, liabilities and future earning potential. Then, by working with an experienced attorney, the individual can decide which assets are worth holding on to as a part of the divorce settlement.

Source: kiplinger.com, "The True Cost of Gray Divorce", Scott Hanson, Sept. 25, 2017

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