Experienced. Understanding. Successful.

Is property division complicated during gray divorce?

Jun 13, 2019 | Firm News, Property Division

property division complicated during gray divorce

Just like there is no wrong age for marrying, there is no wrong age for getting a divorce. However, depending on a couple’s age or the stage of life they are in, there may be unique hurdles to overcome. For West Virginia couples who are over the age of 50, dealing with property division and retirement can be a challenge.

The rise in divorce over the age of 50 — which is referred to as gray divorce — is the result of many baby boomers realizing that they do not have to simply bear through unhappy marriages. These individuals want to make their remaining years as happy and satisfying as possible. Divorce can help with this goal, but it can also make retirement more complicated. The money a couple saved to support a married household usually will not go as far when it is split and used to support two separate households.

When younger couples divorce, individuals have time to make up for any retirement wealth they lost during property division. Adults who are near retirement or who are already in it do not have the same luxury to do so. This does not mean that older couples should just stay married, though. Retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs are divided equitably — or fairly — rather than exactly equally, so that is something to remember.

Like other marital assets, retirement accounts have to be included during property division. Unlike most other assets, splitting up these accounts can have significant tax penalties if not done properly. Because of this, divorcing couples in West Virginia may choose to seek guidance from an attorney who is well-versed in family law.