While the divorce rate from 1990 to 2015 has remained steady, or even decreased slightly, the divorce rate for adults age 50 and older, referred to as Gray Divorces, has doubled, and tripled for adults ages 65 and older (Pew Research Center March 2017). There are often emotional attachments to assets, that can make negotiations difficult and the divorce process more complex. Couples are often not well informed about the real picture of their financial situation. When they have the relevant information, they are more willing to negotiate, and arguments decrease. Hoffman Divorce Strategies can assist Attorneys and their clients to understand the unique financial challenges of divorcing later in life.
Some of these challenges are:
- Financial complexity, as couples divorcing later in life have had more time to accumulate assets, and sometimes debt.
- The importance of separate property received during a marriage (inheritances) or brought into a second or later marriage. Such property, along with prenuptial agreements, can have a dramatic effect on the lifestyle of a spouse who relies on income or cash flow from separate property sources.
- Income taxes on unrealized gains and retirement accounts.
- Careful review of retirement accounts to confirm ownership, survivorship options, prior division in a previous marriage and the subsequent transfer of such accounts by Court Order.
- Analyzing the couple’s Social Security entitlements from the current or previous marriages to maximize the benefit.
- Less time to recover financially from the negative financial aspects of the divorce, for future earnings to replace assets “lost”, pay off debt or recover from the impact of market fluctuations.
- The economic impact of separate lives on deciding whether to stay in or return to the workforce, and which assets to choose from the community, especially the expenses of remaining in a family home.
- Striking a balance when dividing the community between liquid assets (cash and investments) to cover short-term needs and less liquid assets that may offer the potential for long-term growth.
- Identifying contractually restricted assets (annuities, private pensions, deferred compensation, and stock options).
- Quantifying the cost of ownership and selling costs of illiquid assets (real estate, collectibles, and other movables).
- Securitization of support and settlement notes with life and disability insurance.
Hoffman Divorce Strategies works with family law attorneys to assist them and their clients in making the financial decisions that are important for their future. We work as part of a team in litigation, collaboration, or as a private financial mediator. Contact us for more information.