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The financial implications are more serious in gray divorce

There is no guarantee that, past any certain number of years of marriage, a couple will remain together until the very end. The rise of gray divorce -- or, the divorce of a couple closer to retirement than not -- has certainly seemed to highlight that there is no one right time to end a marriage. While gray divorcees in Minnesota will have to address most of the same items of interest as their younger counterparts, older individuals will likely have different financial concerns.

Retirement funds are common points of concern in a gray divorce. This tends to be especially true when one party was employed for the length of the marriage while the other was not. One of the best ways to ensure that each person receives that to which he or she is entitled is to be aware of everyone's rights before making decisions about property division. While a spouse who worked might want to bully an ex into forfeiting any right to the retirement savings, it is a marital asset to which both parties are entitled. Typically, retirement savings are split, giving each party a secure foothold to begin working toward an individual retirement rather than a shared one.

Homes are another common stressor that arise during asset division. A family home usually comes with many different memories of children and even grandchildren, and one or both spouses might have had their hopes on retiring in the shared home. In such instances, it is well-advised to refrain from letting emotions influence decisions. Maintaining a home on a single income or refinancing in a single name can prove difficult and ultimately lead to the eventual selling of the home anyway. Before deciding to keep or sell the home, it is wise to have it valued and get an estimate for what a refinancing would actually look like.

Younger couples filing for divorce usually face these types of issues during asset division too, but the implications can be very different in a gray divorce. There is usually less time between the divorce and planned retirement to rebuild any financial damage from an unfavorable divorce agreement. By understanding the assets to which each of the parties is entitled, divorcing couples of every age in Minnesota can be sure that they are completing the process with the most secure financial foundation possible.

Source: Forbes, "Gray Divorce: 'Til Death Do Us Part?", Neale Godfrey, April 25, 2016

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