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Divorce Issues Affecting Older Adults

 Posted on November 30, 2023 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerDivorce can be difficult for adults of all ages. Even for young spouses whose marriages did not last very long, many different issues need to be addressed during divorce proceedings. Older adults who are getting divorced often have a rather different set of concerns. Nearly everything they own will likely be marital property - including retirement savings. While those undergoing gray divorce are often more mature and capable of compromise than their younger counterparts, they often face higher stakes. While a young adult could likely return to school or learn a trade, a senior citizen may not be able to re-enter the workforce at all due to age-related disability. It is essential that these individuals be represented by a passionate and skilled Michigan divorce attorney who has experience with gray divorce. 

Dividing Retirement Accounts

Under the law, gray divorces proceed exactly like any other divorce. In practice, gray divorce can be quite different. Married young adults often both work and are more likely to keep their finances separate. They likely have not saved all that much together and may not have any interest in a future pension. For long-married older adults, dividing substantial savings, pensions, and other retirement benefits is likely to be a high priority. The closer you are to retirement, the more critical it is to get a fair share of your retirement accounts, pensions, and other retirement benefits. 

Spousal Support for Older Adults

Spousal support can also be a hugely important issue for older people getting divorced. If you were in a traditional marriage, with one spouse working for pay and the other working to maintain the household or raise the children, it is quite likely that the court will consider spousal support appropriate in your case. This is especially true if your age or health would make it more difficult for you to find and keep work that would pay enough to live on. 

Marital vs. Separate Property

Proving what is marital and what is separate property can also be more challenging in gray divorce. Even if you are positive that you owned a certain item before you got married, it might be difficult to establish proof of that if your spouse does not agree. Older adults are also more likely to have received inheritances from their parents or other family members. While inheritances are the sole property of the spouse who received them, married couples often intermingle their funds. 

The good news is that most older adults can avoid what many see as the hardest part of divorce - determining child custody issues. This is not likely to be a concern if your children are grown. 

Contact a Northville, MI, Divorce Lawyer

Elkouri Heath, PLC is committed to helping older adults succeed in divorce. Our caring Oakland County, MI, divorce attorneys will do all we can to ensure you will be financially secure during your retirement. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation. 

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