Throughout Texas and the rest of the U.S., more and more spouses over age 50 are choosing to separate. These gray divorces account for approximately 25 percent of legal splits. However, getting a gray divorce after experiencing a lengthy marriage presents challenges to both spouses. Lengthy marriages often involve greater difficulties when attempting to determine who owns various assets. Some couples spend years battling their convictions in court.
Older couples going through divorce should take steps to ease potential financial issues. Besides causing a strain on the emotions, the end of marriage can involve a complicated property division process. For example, Social Security benefits may pose problems for older spouses. These funds can be vital for older people going into their retirement years. Similarly, an older couple should also take special actions when dividing their IRA investments. All assets gained during marriage are considered marital property that may be split evenly.
Health insurance coverage can be another major issue, especially if the spouses are not eligible to receive Medicare benefits. If one spouse does not work, they might rely on the health insurance provided through the other spouse's work. This will be terminated following a divorce. The same is true for any life insurance policies covering both spouses.
A qualified divorce lawyer can help an older couple create a written settlement agreement determining an agreeable division of money, properties and assets. A legal written agreement could give each spouse adequate assets to live comfortable, secure lives as single individuals. With help from a divorce attorney, a separating couple may not even need to appear in court.