If you and your spouse are retired and have decided to separate and go your own ways, then you may be concerned about how you’re going to divide a lifetime of marital assets shared between you. You may have stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, shared bank accounts and more that you have to divide if you choose to divorce.
Some of the things you have to think about when you go through a gray divorce include:
- If you’ll need to pay alimony or if you want to receive alimony
- If your Social Security payments will be altered
- If you will be able to keep your home or will need to find somewhere new to live
- What will happen to your pets
- How to divide the assets you share with your spouse
It’s not unusual that older people, especially those with a significant age difference, may drift apart. The way your retirement is set up could impact your decisions as you go through divorce, though. You must be cautious about your financial decisions so that you can continue to live comfortably despite the divorce.
Will Social Security change after a divorce?
Social Security payments may change after you divorce. If your spouse receives Social Security, you could be entitled to up to half of their benefit if you were married for at least 10 years and haven’t remarried. Of course, if you have Social Security and that SS benefit is higher, then you will want to keep your own. Otherwise, you may be entitled to a larger share based on your spouse’s earnings.
Will alimony be possible?
Alimony may be possible if you divorce at a later age and need it to support yourself. For example, if you stayed at home as a stay-at-home parent and raised your children, you may be reliant on your spouse’s income and retirement benefits. In that case, you may want to discuss permanent alimony, so that you can rely on an income as you age.
These and other issues are delicate and complex. It’s important to know your legal rights as you enter into a gray divorce.