Divorce and the golden years

There are some things in life that simply cannot be avoided. For some Michigan couples, one of these things is divorce. In fact, the number of couples over the age of 50 deciding to divorce is an increasing number that is now almost twice what it was just 25 years ago.

Most couples spend their 30s and 40s raising their families, building their retirement accounts and looking forward to their retirement years. However, for one reason or another, as these golden years approach, some couples are finding that they no longer wish to spend them together. Couples in this situation are generally looking forward to retiring in the foreseeable future and must also take this into consideration as they strategize and develop their divorce agreement.

One of the first steps that the individual will need to take is to create a listing of all assets. This listing should detail which assets the individual considers to be marital property and which may be considered personal property. For example, one of the spouses may have received an inheritance at some point during the marriage. While an inheritance is typically considered separate property, it could be deemed marital property if the funds are commingled with other marital property. 

At this point, it will also be a good idea to take at look at the possibility of alimony. If the individual is expecting to receive alimony payments, he or she will want to also take steps to protect this income in case the other individual's financial picture changes or he or she dies. This can be addressed in the divorce agreement.

The decision to divorce is often a difficult one to make. Additionally, as the Michigan couple approaches retirement age, the decision can have lasting financial consequences. Experienced legal counsel can assist in structuring an agreement that is in the financial and emotional best interest of the individual.

Source: marketwatch.com, "7 ways to manage financial pitfalls during a late-in-life divorce", Melody Juge, Feb. 9, 2018

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