Steps to take when facing a 'grey divorce' in Maryland

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Divorce on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.

Divorce can create many challenges, especially for older couples. The increase in older couples getting divorced is now more frequently referred to as a "grey divorce." While all divorces have significant issues to tackle, older couples getting divorced have several additional financial considerations to make.

Experts have said that the increase in "grey divorces" can be attributed to divorce being more socially acceptable and older couples taking control of their lives.

Older couples getting divorced face different challenges. While child custody and support decisions are usually no longer a heated issue, there are more financial aspects to consider. Older couples usually have to divide assets and debts that have accumulated over several decades. Along with that, they need to figure out how to split retirement and pension accounts as well as plan for their retirement and long-term care.

These challenges may seem scary but there are steps older couples can take to prepare for their divorce:

  1. Be aware of finances: Both spouses should be informed about their shared finances. Spouses should know what accounts are open in both of their names and what funds pay for monthly expenses.
  2. Plan for the future: Spouses will have to divide their retirement and pension accounts so it is important to know how this may impact your future single life. Spouses may be entitled to a portion of their spouse's retirement account and it should be stated clearly in the divorce agreement.
  3. Meet with a financial planner: It is important to create a budget based on your new financial portfolio. Divorce may cause a significant financial change so it is wise to work with an experienced professional to make sure you are prepared for the future.
  4. Change your estate plan: Remember to rename beneficiaries listed on wills, trusts, life insurance policies and pension plans, as well as any other estate planning document. Not doing so will mean your ex may inherit your assets and possessions upon your death.

Source: Huffington Post, "Coping With A Grey Divorce," Lubov Stark, Nov. 20, 2012