Divorce for older couples can be financially complex

If you and your spouse are over the age of 50 and considering divorce, you are part of a growing trend. You may start out having an amicable divorce, but financial issues, for well-heeled older couples in particular, may bring up some problems you were not expecting to confront.

Rather than let your financial situation get the best of you, reach out to an attorney experienced with high-asset divorce. A legal professional can help you navigate the complexities and bring you and your soon-to-be-ex some agreement in money matters and, ultimately, relative peace.

More of everything

By the time you and your spouse have reached the 50-plus threshold, you undoubtedly have more real property, investment accounts, debt and estate-planning responsibilities than you did when you were young and newly married. You may also have made some poor financial decisions, perhaps in your retirement planning. All these things must be taken into consideration when you decide to part ways, so you are looking at a complex rather than a simple divorce.

Splitting assets

When it comes to splitting assets, one example of a more involved issue is dividing your 401K plan or a pension. You will need a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, which will indicate how much your spouse is to be paid as his or her share of the plan. As for Social Security, an ex-spouse is entitled to receive half of the other ex-spouse’s benefits, beginning at the age of 62, as long as the marriage endured for at least 10 years. The marital home will probably be the asset with the most value, but to reap the greatest benefits, there are considerations as to whether a sale should take place before or after the divorce.

Rely on legal expertise

Couples who are over 50 represent one in four divorces, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage. To take all your responsibilities and options into consideration, you will benefit from the assistance of a divorce attorney who is also a certified public accountant. With both legal and financial expertise, your attorney can help you through a complex divorce and into a new chapter in your life.