Life often takes unexpected turns, and men and women just like you sometimes realize that even a decades long marriage is no longer sustainable. This can be a scary realization, especially if you are uncertain about your finances. However, a gray divorce might be more realistic than you think.
The term gray divorce does not mean that you will be going through a different divorce process than someone who is younger. Instead, it simply refers to the fact that divorcing after the age of 50 presents its own unique challenges. One of the best ways to meet these challenges head-on is to learn as much about them as possible.
Alimony is often an essential lifeline after divorce. The good news is that, since you are going through a gray divorce, it is much more likely that your spouse is higher up in his or her career, and therefore earning a higher income. If your spouse does hold a relatively senior position, income might refer to more than just his or her paycheck, too.
To reach a fair agreement regarding alimony — also called spousal support — you will need to know your spouse’s total compensation. This is different from his or her base salary, or paycheck. Total compensation packages often include things like restricted stock units, stock options, executive compensation packages and more.
Dividing marital assets
Barring a few exceptions, assets acquired during the course of your marriage are marital property. Dividing marital property is a key aspect of divorce and can greatly determine your future financial stability. A few examples of marital property that you will likely deal with include:
- Real estate
- Home furnishings
- Bank accounts
- Retirement savings
- Credit card debt
In Minnesota, divorcing couples must divide their assets equitably. This means that, rather than divide marital assets in an equal 50/50 split, you will need to divide things fairly. This might mean that one spouse takes on a larger portion of marital debt, or another receives a greater share of marital finances.
What about my inheritance?
In general, inheritances are not marital property even if you received one while married. Your own inheritance might be personal property, and therefore not subject to property division. Problems may arise if you commingled your inheritance with marital assets, though. For example, depositing inherited funds into a marital bank account and using those funds for marital purposes can actually make your inheritance change from personal to marital property.
Divorce at any age can be a challenge. However, since you may be nearing retirement, you probably have your own unique concerns about what the future holds — especially when it comes to your finances. One way to address your concerns about gray divorce is to take the time to learn as much about the process as possible, which often includes seeking knowledgeable guidance.