A “gray divorce” carries added stress for couples over 50 who must divide the property they accumulated together over the years before they go their separate ways. If you are over 50 years old and contemplating a divorce, make sure you receive an equitable portion of the marital property, which includes all assets and income earned throughout your marriage.
At Shapiro Family Law, our property division lawyers have seen several common issues among our clients. Here are the top five important property division considerations in a gray divorce.
Your Retirement Accounts
If you set up a retirement account while you were working, the account is probably marital property. For accounts established before the marriage, increases in value are considered marital.
When you established your 401(k), IRA, pension, and other retirement accounts, you probably expected these to provide you and your spouse with extra income during your retirement years. Now, you have to divide these accounts, which may mean less money for you. Depending on your age, looking at a part-time job to help you fill in your potential income gap is difficult.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Divide Your Retirement Assets
Tensions can rise when it comes to dividing retirement accounts, especially if one spouse has more retirement assets than the other. If this happens, we can help you file a court order that divides the benefits couples earned through an employer’s retirement plan.
To make sure you pay or receive an equitable amount of retirement savings, speak with Shapiro Family Law. Our division of retirement lawyers can help you with this process.
Your Separate Property
Separate property is property that either spouse owned before the marriage. Separate property could be an inheritance, a personal gift, or a judgment from a personal injury lawsuit to compensate for future loss and future pain and suffering.
If you do not plan to share your separate property or your spouse believes a portion of it should be divided, speak to one of our lawyers today. We can help you fight to keep your separate property even after the divorce.
Your Marital Home
In Colorado, your house is marital property if it was acquired during the marriage or if it was placed in joint title. Prior to your divorce, you should decide which spouse will keep the marital home or agree to sell the house and distribute the profits equitably. Things are more difficult, however, if you and your soon-to-be former spouse both want to stay in the house.
When couples cannot decide who keeps the house through a divorce, the Judge handling the case makes this determination. The Judge can also order the couple to sell the house, or order the spouse who stays in the home to refinance and give the other spouse an equitable share of the equity.
Keep in mind that the spouse who keeps the marital home has to pay annual property taxes and fund any major home repairs. You should take these future expenses into consideration when determining how to divide the marital home.
With spousal maintenance, the higher-earning spouse may have to pay the lower-earning spouse monthly support for a certain period of time after the divorce.
Under Colorado’s Spousal Maintenance Act, couples seeking a divorce must review extensive and complex guidelines to determine maintenance awards. The guidelines also include a formula for determining spousal maintenance based on the duration of the marriage and combined gross incomes of the spouses. This formula is not applied in all instances, however.
To ensure that you receive-or pay-support in an equitable manner, speak with us about your spousal support concerns.
A Small Business
If you and your spouse realized a dream of owning your own business, make sure that it does not become a nightmare during your gray divorce. It may have to be valued and the equity bought out.
A Gray Divorce Lawyer Can Help You Divide Your Marital Assets.
If you are considering a gray divorce, you can rely on the Shapiro Family Law to provide the legal guidance you need throughout the process. Our attorneys can take your valuable property into consideration to make sure it is divided equitably between and your spouse.
If you have questions about this process or you are ready to get started, contact us today at 303-695-0200 to schedule a legal consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.