Gray divorces in Michigan and throughout the country are on the rise. A gray divorce is a divorce involving spouses who are over 50 years old.
Many couples at this age have been together for decades. This means that the amount of assets involved may be quite higher than for younger couples, whose property division may only involve a house, cars and a couple retirement accounts.
As you approach the start of your divorce, you likely have major concerns about your financial future.
Why a gray divorce can be more challenging
Not only are you used to living on two incomes, the cost of living and overall economy is probably vastly different than when you got married. You also have fewer working years ahead of you that would allow you to get back on your feet.
However, once you have decided that ending your marriage is the right choice, there are many things you can do to plan for your gray divorce.
Learn everything you can about your financial situation
Start researching and collecting information on all your assets and debts. You may not be aware of all your investments, retirement accounts or other financial assets, especially if your spouse was the one traditionally responsible for managing them.
If you are the one who managed the finances, do not hide assets or present false income information. There are ways to uncover hidden assets in the divorce process and you could face financial and other penalties if your hidden assets are discovered.
Keeping the marital home
Chances are, you have a marital home that means a lot to you. One of the biggest worries may be wondering if you will get to keep your home.
Even if your spouse agrees to let you keep the home, you must be able to afford it. Perform an accurate assessment of your estimated monthly expenses post-divorce. If you cannot afford to keep the home, even with potential spousal support or alimony, you may be better off selling it.
These are just a couple of examples of things you should consider in your gray divorce. Investments, retirement accounts, pensions and the tax implications of how those will be divided are additional factors to consider.
Your gray divorce may be complex and emotionally devastating; however, with proper planning you can smoothly transition into your new life.