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Divorce can be complex, especially later in life

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2020 | Child Custody & Visitation |

There is no way to predict which Washington marriages will last a lifetime and which will not. Any number of issues may arise that a particular couple determines are irreparable. In such cases, a spouse might file for divorce, and the later in life that this occurs, the more complex proceedings might be.

Spouses filing for divorce at age 55 and beyond is a rising trend in the United States. Referred to in colloquial terms as a “gray divorce,” it can be challenging to achieve a satisfactory settlement. Social Security and retirement benefits are often a central focus of property division proceedings in a gray divorce. A spouse’s pension might be considered a joint asset, in which case, the court must determine how much money each spouse is eligible to receive.

This is a community property state, which means marital property is usually split 50/50 in divorce. A concerned spouse will no doubt want to ensure that amount he or she expects to receive is enough to make ends meet once he or she is living apart from his or her former spouse. Sadly, many older people wind up facing financial crisis after divorce.

Health insurance and tax issues are also top priorities in divorce, particularly for spouses who are in their golden years. Beyond the financial aspects of a late-in-life split, some parents may find that their adult children have great difficulty coming to terms with their decision to go their separate ways. There may also be estate planning issues to work out that involve an adult son or daughter. The good news is that, no matter how complex a particular case might be, an experienced Washington family law attorney can help to protect a client’s rights and financial interests as well.